The International Peace Bureau, one of the first recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, awards the Seán MacBride Peace Prize every year to a person, organisation, or movement in recognition of their outstanding work for peace, disarmament, human rights. The IPB, founded in 1891, is one of the world's oldest international peace federations and is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. Over the years it has worked on a wide range of peace promotion topics, including nuclear weapons, arms trade and other aspects of disarmament; peace education and culture of peace; women and peacemaking; peace history; as well as related themes such as international law and human rights. In 2018 the IPB Board has chosen the AHDR (Association For Historical Dialogue and Research) and Home for Cooperation as one of the three winners of the prize.
The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) has received the 2016 Max van der Stoel Award. The award is named in honour of former Dutch Minister of State, Mr Max van der Stoel and was established in 2001. It is awarded biennially to an individual or an institution in recognition of extraordinary and outstanding achievements aimed at improving the position of national minorities in the area of the Organisation for Security and Collaboration in Europe (OSCE). The decision for the award is taken by an international jury, chaired by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. This position is currently held by Ms Astrid Thords who stated:
“The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) from Cyprus is a non-governmental organization that is bi-communal both in terms of its focus area and its staff. Throughout the last 13 years, AHDR demonstrated sustained commitment to building a multilingual and multi-faith society which celebrates diversity and promotes mutual respect and understanding.”
This is the second prestigious international award for our organisation, the first one being a ‘Europa Nostra’ award in the ‘Conservation’ category in 2014, following the establishment of the 'Home for Cooperation'.
The Max van der Stoel Award has been presented to the AHDR on 24 October 2016 at a ceremony in The Hague. You can find the formal press release by the OSCE here:
In 2014, the Home for Cooperation (H4C), AHDR’s brainchild, a once run-down and bullet-ridden building in the UN buffer zone in Nicosia, won the Europa Nostra 2014 ‘Conservation’ award along with 12 other laureates. According to Europa Nostra’s website, the H4C building has become “a unique peace project in Cyprus, because, whereas other buildings in the area, still by their condition and neglect, portray conflict and division, this one now clearly stands for cooperation and unity.”
“The Jury felt that the Home for Cooperation was something to be really proud of. It constitutes, they felt, a substantial contribution to the revitalization of Nicosia’s United Nations Dead Zone as well as to the wider peacemaking procedure. Furthermore it represents a typical example of the 1950s architecture of Cyprus, which finds few supporters but which we are again starting to see as a brave and distinctive statement of the character of its period.”