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Nurturing the democratic debate.  
Sri Lankan judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, laureate of UNESCO Prize for Peace Education
Editorial Contact: Jasmina Sopova, Press Relations Section, tel. +33 (0)1 45 68 17 17 - Email

24-05-2006 6:00 am Sri Lanka judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry has been designated laureate of the 2006 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. The prize will be awarded on 21 September, at UNESCO Headquarters. Director-General, Koďchiro Matsuura named Christopher Gregory Weeramantry as the winner for the US$ 40,000 prize “in recognition of his ongoing commitment and concrete undertakings in support of the concept and culture of peace through his long and fruitful career.”

Born in 1926, Christopher Gregory Weeramantry was judge and Vice President of the International Court of Justice. As the Chairman of Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research (WICPER), which he founded in 2001, he has contributed to the promotion of peace education, human rights, intercultural education, social integration, interfaith understanding, environmental protection, international law, disarmament and sustainable development.

Judge Weeramantry is the author of numerous books and articles. He has lectured around and his judgements at the International Court of Justice have become a reference in international law.

The Fundación para la Reconciliación (Colombia) has been chosen to receive a Special Mention for “its efforts in introducing new tools for thought and analysis of human discourse to accomplish work of reconciliation and forgiveness as a practical exercise based on a precise methodology.”

Created in 2001, the Fundación para la Reconciliación aims to promote the theory and practice of forgiveness and reconciliation. It has also been promoting the project for a charter that would allow for the creation of a global system of reconciliation. In 2005, 9,000 peasants from Colombia’s poorest areas were involved in a traditional literacy project which included a component of “emotional literacy.” The impact of this course, based on the principle and practice of forgiveness and reconciliation, especially among the young, has been very positive.

The award ceremony of the 2006 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education will take place on the occasion of International Peace Day.

Source Press Release No.2006-47

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