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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
02-09-2003 4:00 pm The laureate of this year’s UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, Father Emil Shufani, will receive his award from Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura in a ceremony on September 8 (5 p.m, Room I). The Director-General will also present an Honourable Mention to Yolande Mukagasana (Rwanda/Belgium).
Born in 1947, Father Emil Shufani has worked for decades to bring Jews, Moslems and Christians closer together. An Israeli Arab Christian himself, he founded the project “Education for peace, democracy and coexistence” in 1988 at St Joseph’s College in Nazareth, where he has been principal since 1976. He has written numerous works, and two compilations of his interviews were published in France by Albin Michel, Le Curé de Nazareth (1998) and Comme un veilleur attend la paix (2002). In May 2003, he led a joint Jewish-Arab pilgrimage to Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of his project “Memory for Peace”.

During the 1994 Rwandan genocide,Yolande Mukgasana lost her husband and three children and saw the health centre she founded be destroyed. In Belgium, she started Nyarimambo Point d’Appui, Foundation for Remembrance of the Rwanda Genocide and for Reconstruction. Its activities include finding sponsors to send Rwandan orphans to school and distributing an educational exhibition, Les Blessures du silence, of photographs and testimonies (published in France by Actes Sud in 2001).

Before the award ceremony, the two laureates will participate in a round table (Room II, from 2.30 to 4.45 p.m.) focusing on the topic “Culture of Peace and the Foundations of Reconciliation”, organized as part of celebrations of the International Day of Peace (September 21). Other participants are: Father Angel Astorgano Ruiz, Secretary-General of the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC), who in August 2003 organized a seminar for trainers in peace education in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo); historian Christophe Bouillet, Peace and Conflict Specialist at the Caen Memorial; David Mumford, Coordinator for the International Fellowship of Reconciliation; and Edith Ballantyne, of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.


The laureates will meet the press in Room V (11.30 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.). Journalists wishing to attend are invited to call one of the contacts above for accreditation.

Source Media Advisory No 2003 - 69


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