OF THE AWARDEES OF THE
2003 UNITED NATIONS PRIZE IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN RIGHTS
2 DECEMBER 2003
day, Ladies and Gentlemen,
it is my honor as President of the General Assembly to announce
the recipients of the quinquennial United Nations Prize
in the Field of Human Rights for 2003.
prestigious award is given to individuals and organizations
in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the
promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental
freedoms. This year there are five awardees, as well as
a special posthumous award, which I will announce shortly.
prize is awarded every five years, in accordance with a
resolution of the General Assembly that was adopted in 1966.
The prize was first awarded on 10 December1968, the International
Year for Human Rights and the twentieth anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Prize provides an opportunity for the United Nations to
publicly commend the achievements and outstanding contributions
of the awardees. Through this public recognition of their
valuable work, the United Nations also pays tribute to the
thousands of anonymous human rights advocates and defenders
involved daily in the difficult and often perilous work
of promoting and protecting the rights of others.
with the GA resolution, the recipients of the Prize were
selected by a Committee that consisted of:
President of the General Assembly,
- The President of the Economic and Social Council,
- The Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights,
- The Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women,
- The Chairperson of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion
and Protection of Human Rights.
Committee met in New York with the assistance of the Office
of the High Commissioner on Human Rights on 7 November 2003
to select the awardees from among some 50 nominations received
in accordance with the established rules.
Prize will be awarded at the plenary meeting of the General
Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York on Human Rights
Day, 10 December 2003 at 10am. The awardees have been invited
to attend the General Assembly meeting to be presented with
a commemorative plaque, and to attend a number of official
now my great honor to announce, as President of the General
Assembly and Chairman of the special selection committee,
the recipients of the United Nations Prize in the Field
of Human Rights for 2003.
Enriqueta Estela Barnes de Carlotto of Argentina for
her work as the President of the Asociación Abuelas
de Plaza de Mayo [Association of Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers].
This association was established in 1977 in response to
the forced or involuntary disappearance of hundreds of children
following the military coup in Argentina in 1976 when children
were either abducted with their parents, or born in clandestine
detention centers for young pregnant women. Since then,
Ms. Barnes de Carlotto and the Association have located
missing and kidnapped children and restored them to their
Deng Pufang of China, who is the founder and director
of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, which he established
in 1988 to act as an international advocate for the rights
of persons with disabilities. As a result of his initiatives
and advocacy, the living standards and status of persons
with disabilities in China has significantly improved. Disabled
by a spinal injury in 1968, Mr. Deng earned a reputation
during the ensuing years as an advocate of disabled people
in China and around the world. His many years of tireless
effort to promote the human rights of the disabled in China
through legislation, programmes and activities, is exemplary.
Family Protection Project Management Team of Jordan which
is a groundbreaking initiative that has helped to lift the
taboo on the subject of domestic violence, and promote open
debate on issues of human rights and gender equality. A
team of seven men and five women, representing both governmental
and non-governmental organizations, has been responsible
for the development and implementation of the project, which
takes a truly holistic, preventative and inclusive approach
to tackling the root causes of domestic violence. The Team
has also developed a social justice partnership model to
address domestic violence in countries of the region, and
may provide a useful learning experience for countries around
Shulamith Koenig of the United States of America, who
is the Executive Director of the People's Movement for Human
Rights Education, which she founded in 1988 with the goal
of creating a global human rights culture. To this end Ms.
- Advocated global action for societal change through human
- Worked tirelessly to support the United Nations Decade
of Human Rights Education;
- Organized consultations and workshops with educators,
human rights advocates and community leaders in more then
60 countries; and
- Initiated the 'Human Rights Cities' project, now supported
by UNDP as a three-year Global Program to be implemented
in 30 cities and train 500 young community leaders in strengthening
human rights, civil society and democracy.
Mano River Women's Peace Network in West Africa, which
is a network of women's organizations from Sierra Leone,
Liberia, and Guinea. It was established in May 2000 to contribute
to the search for regional peace and security through advocacy;
conflict prevention and resolution; and peace building.
The network has brought an effective multi-dimensional,
coordinated and regional approach to the struggle for human
rights through initiatives to restore peace and to ensure
that women's voices are included at all levels of the decision-making
process. It has been active at both the grass roots level
and the highest levels of government, successfully bringing
the Heads of State of their three countries back to the
negotiating table in 2001, and as a delegate, mediator and
signatory to the Liberian peace talks in August 2003.
the special committee has decided that a special posthumous
award will be given to: The late UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello of Brazil,
who held many other high level positions within the United
Nations, including most recently, Special Representative
of the Secretary-General in Iraq. He served the UN cause
relentlessly for more than thirty years, and as you would
be aware, was killed on duty in Iraq along with 21 others,
on 19 August 2003.