Flemish Institute for Peace and Pax Christi welcomes Nobel Peace Prizes

The Flemish Institute for Peace (Vlaams Vredesinstituut) and the Catholic pacifist organization Pax Christi Vlaanderen welcomed this Friday 7 October the awards of the Nobel Peace Prize. The two organizations believe that by awarding it to Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian NGO Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, the Nobel Prize committee has highlighted citizen activism.

The Nobel Prize committee explained in its justification that the winners "have for years promoted the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens".

"This Nobel Peace Prize highlights a series of tools with which we can confront aggression without resorting to arms. These possibilities, which are civic activism, education, the duty of memory, have been somewhat forgotten behind the extensive coverage of the war and the emphasis on geopolitical issues", reacted the Flemish Institute for Peace in a press release.

"This Nobel Prize is an important signal for civil society and the many activists who fight for peace in a non-violent way. It clearly shows that even now, in times of war, working for peace is a long-term job that is not only reserved for diplomats and politicians. Every citizen who is committed to democracy, human rights and memory can make a difference", adds Nils Duquet, director of the institute.

“These are years of sustained and consistent commitment to human rights. In many cases, it is a struggle that also requires very personal sacrifices. We cannot stress enough the importance of this commitment. supported in favor of peace", reacted Pax Christi Vlaanderen.

The organization sees this recognition as "an encouragement to continue its contacts with local peacekeepers" and commends the fact that "the three winners have set an example in difficult circumstances, which should serve as an inspiration for all world."



© BELGA PHOTO (JELLE MAMPAEY) Hilde Crevits regarding the Belga article "Jaarverslag Vlaams Vredesinstituut", 24/04/2018

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