Press release - DC 036(2012)
Council of Europe North-South Prize 2011 to Boris Tadić and Souhayr Belhassen
Strasbourg, 26.03.2012 – Boris Tadić (President of the Republic of Serbia) and Souhayr Belhassen (President of the International Federation of Human Rights), are the two North-South Prize 2011 laureates. The Prize will be awarded in Lisbon by the President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, during an official ceremony at the Senate Room of the National Portuguese Assembly, on 27 March (11h00).
Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Maud De Boer-Buquicchio will also participate in the event, together with Parliamentary Assembly President Jean-Claude Mignon; President of the Portuguese Parliament Assunção Esteves; Chair of the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre Deborah Bergamini; and President of the Portuguese Parliamentary Delegation to PACE João Bosco Mota Amaral.
The North-South Prize is given annually by the Council of Europe North-South Centre to honour people who have contributed to the promotion of global solidarity and interdependence.
For the North, Boris Tadić has been chosen in recognition of his efforts for reconciliation in the Balkans and for the integration process of Serbia in the European project. Moreover, his commitment was a determining factor in the arrest and transfer of the last two war criminals (Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić) to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
For the South, Souhayr Belhassen distinguished herself for struggling for human rights and women's conditions in developing countries. The Tunisian activist is also considered a symbol for the historical changes in the Arab world in 2011, setting an example for gender equality and fairness in the region.
In the past, the prize has been given to personalities as diverse as Mikhail Gorbachev, Rola Dashti, Bob Geldof, Simone Veil, Mário Soares, Peter Gabriel, Stéphane Hessel, Graça Machel, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan and Jorge Sampaio. Last year the North-South Prize was awarded to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Louise Arbour.
Created in November 1989, the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (more commonly known as the "North-South Centre"), was set up in Lisbon in May 1990. It provides a framework for European co-operation designed to heighten public awareness of global interdependence issues, and to promote policies of solidarity complying with the Council of Europe’s aims and principles.
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