Seán MacBride Peace Prize 2018

The International Peace Bureau awards the Seán MacBride Peace Prize every year to a person, or organisation, or movement in recognition of its outstanding work for peace, disarmament, human rights.

This year the IPB Board has chosen the following three winners of the prize:

AHDR (Association For Historical Dialogue and Research) and Home for Cooperation

Helena Maleno

Douglas Roche

The AHDR envisions a society where dialogue on issues of history, historiography, history teaching, and history learning is welcomed as an integral part of democracy and is considered as a means for the advancement of historical understanding and critical thinking. The AHDR’s Board, comprising of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot educators and historians, is a brilliant example of how productive cooperation, creative ideas, and respect can blossom, regardless of division. In the context of AHDR’s efforts to promote a Culture of Peace through education, at a local, national and international level, the organization has also engaged in a series of Peace Education projects and activities. These have showcased the impact of deconstructing stereotypes and increasing contact in creating a paradigm shift in education as a prerequisite for laying the foundations for sustainable peace. Home for Cooperation was established by the AHDR in 2011 as a research and educational centre, mostly bringing academics and historians together. Today the Home has become a landmark building within the Ledra Palace crossing, UN buffer zone. The Home hosts an extensive variety of cultural, artistic and educational programs with the aim to foster creativity and intercultural trust in Cyprus and internationally. It follows “arts-based peacebuilding” to transform interpersonal and intercommunal conflicts in Cyprus; with projects and programmes that aim to redefine relationships and build capacity where the artistic medium is used to heal personal/collective trauma and to promote interconnectivity through arts and culture. The IPB highly appreciates the efforts and promotion of Culture of Peace and as well as the peace building activities.

Helena Maleno is a human rights defender and an activist for migrants’ rights, as well as a Journalist and researcher, based in Tangier (Morocco). In 2002, Maleno founded the association “Caminando Fronteras” (Walking along borders), which is one of the main organizations at the southern European border devoted to denounce human rights violations. Caminando Fronteras provides support to sub-Saharan communities during the migration process. Maleno is widely known, also, for her public task alerting maritime authorities to the plight of vulnerable migrants in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, the Moroccan authorities, following a report from the Spanish police over allegations that Maleno had been collaborating with people traffickers, are prosecuting Helena Maleno. In addition, different groups in Morocco have harassed the activist for criticizing the government and especially state abuses against migrants and women. Consequently, her own life was in danger. As a Peace organization, we admire Helena Maleno’s efforts to save hundreds of lives in the Mediterranean Sea, and her strong commitment to defending human rights.

Douglas Roche’s indefatigable work, in particular as President of the UN Association and as Ambassador for Disarmament during the height of the Cold War, helped maintain strong Canadian public support for the ideals of multilateralism in one of the most turbulent times in modern history. He is the founding Chairman Emeritus of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI), an international network of NGOs that hosts international meetings of states seeking the elimination of nuclear weapons. Canada’s former Ambassador for Disarmament is a dedicated champion of nuclear abolition able to move easily among nations and peace congresses. He was also highly instrumental in creating Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). During negotiations, whether as Canada’s ambassador, the Holy See’s special adviser, the Chairman of MPI, or as the Past President of PNND, he continued to be an articulate and well-informed delegate to the UN’s NPT and disarmament negotiations. A constant inspiration who provides solid leadership and sage guidance for many international and national organisations including the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs movement. We award Mr. Roche for his tireless efforts to promote international peace and disarmament.

Information on the awarding ceremonies will be published soon.

Download the press release here.