The announcement ceremony for the 10th edition of Polish Prize of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2002-2003) took place at the international conference “Europe – Critical Problems” on 17 October 2013. This year the panel of judges decided to honour Myroslav Marynovich in the “Personal Achievement” Category and the Denis Hurley Refugee Centre in the “Non-governmental Organization” category. The Honorary Prize was awarded to Prof. Adam Daniel Rotfeld.
Laureate in the “person” category
Myrosław Marynowicz – professor in religion studies, journalist, translator, social activist, co-founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group and Amnesty International, President of the Ukrainian International PEN-Club and Vice-Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. He is a member of advisory group on ecumenism to the Superior of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and of the “Justice and Peace” Committee, operating within the Orthodox Church. Awarded in 2008 with the Ukrainian Order of Freedom, in recognition of his achievements in consolidating the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, development of democracy, respect for constitutional rights and individual freedoms of men and citizens. In 2006, received the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic. Myroslaw Marynovych plays a special role in the Ukrainian intellectual and scientific life and the circles of secular Greek Catholics, always maintaining an independent position and courage in passing judgments. He plays a key role in relations with Poland, having for years made every effort to promote transnational interfaith and peaceful coexistence of Polish and Ukrainian cultures. He is a leading representative of Ukrainian communities open to dialogue, rejecting nationalist and xenophobic attitudes, and advocating reconciliation between Poles and Ukrainians.
Refugee Aid – Denis Hurley’s Centre
Laureate in „NGO” category
Refugee Aid – Denis Hurley’s Centre – is a dynamic charity organisation founded in 2009 in RSA, providing aid for African refugees who had to leave their countries for political or economic reasons. The patronage over the centre was held by once a Archbishop of Durban, Denis Eugene Hurley (1915 – 2004). The organisation is maintained by government grants, foreign donations, local foundations and private contributions. It is a centre unique on African scale, providing not only immediate help to refugees in their first weeks in the new country, but also delivering long-term, comprehensive care. The Centre helps the refugees in taking advantage of health programmes, finding employment, schools, professional training courses, and assists them in participating in educational programmes on tolerance. Every day it gives support to almost 500 people seeking help.
Adam Daniel Rotfeld
Adam Daniel Rotfeld – Polish scientist, diplomat, and in 2005 Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1961-1989 he worked at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. In 1973, he took part in the second phase of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) as a member of the Polish delegation, and in the meetings of the CSCE in Belgrade, Madrid and Vienna. Since 1989, he worked at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). In 1992-1993, he became the personal representative of the CSCE chairman for a political solution to the conflict in Transnistria. On 5 January 2005, he was appointed Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2006, he was engaged by the UN Secretary General as a member, and in 2008, as chairman of the Advisory Board to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on disarmament. Since 2008, as a co-chairman of bilateral Polish-Russian group for difficult matters he has taken initiatives aimed to strengthen the dialogue between the two countries. His work is an example of a deep commitment to reconciliation between Poland and Russia.
The Polish Prize of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2002-2003) has been awarded annually for the past 10 years to people and non-governmental organization for their contribution to peaceful coexistence and cooperation between societies, religions and cultures. The panel of judges comprising the representatives of the President of Poland, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Spokesman for Civil Rights, President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Embassies and foundations supporting activities in the areas of human rights, and the Founders of the Award considered 46 candidacies this year. 24 people were nominated in the “Personal Achievement” category (including 2 people with two nominations each and one person with three nominations and 15 entities which were nominated in the “Non-governmental Organisation” category, (including two with two nominations each). Only one candidate failed to meet the regulations’ criteria and was rejected by the panel.