At a meeting today, the Executive Committee of North-South Centre awarded the Council of Europe North-South Prize 2011 to Boris Tadić and Souhayr Belhassen.
The award is given every two years to two personalities who have distinguished themselves by their commitment to the promotion of human rights, the development of the intercultural dialogue and the strengthening of solidarity between North and South.
Boris Tadić, President of the Republic of Serbia, was chosen in recognition of his political action for the reconciliation of the Balkans and the integration of his country in the process of European construction. His support for international justice has been a determining factor in the arrest and transfer to The Hague, of the last two criminals sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2011 (Ratko Mladić et Goran Hadžić);
Souhayr Belhassen (Tunisia), President of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), is recognized for her long-time commitment in favour of human rights in the world, as well as for her fight for the rights of women in developing countries. Her path is both an example and symbol of the major role played by the women in the historic changes which have taken place in 2011 in the Arabic world.
Previous winners of the North South prize include Louise Arbour (Canada) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil), both honoured in 2010. The contributions of Rola Dashti and Mikhail Gorbachev were acclaimed at a North South Prize gala ceremony in 2009.
Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of Jordan, Jorge Sampaio, Simone Veil, Kofi Annan, Father Van der Hoff, founder of the Fair Trade Association Max Havelaar, Bob Geldof and Graça Machel, have each carried home the prize since it began in 1995.
The prize will be awarded by the President of the Republic of Portugal in Lisbon during the Spring 2012.
Information: North South Centre