June 14th has a special significance to the Schengen Peace Foundation which initiates the event. In 1985 this date was the signing of the Schengen Agreement by France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and West Germany. The agreement proposed to gradually abolish border checks at the signatories’ common borders and the harmonisation of visa policies. Today the Schengen area includes 26 member states, operating very much like a single state for international travel purposes with no internal border controls and only external border controls for travelers entering and exiting the area. The common visa policy covers a population of over 400 million people.
The distinguished peacemakers of 2019 represent a diverse mix of Activists, Educators, Leaders, and Artists from all corners of the globe in ten categories.
Luxembourg Peace Prize Laureates of 2019 include:
OUTSTANDING PEACE ACTIVISTS
Masami Saionji and Hiroo Saionji
Masami Saionji succeeds the work of her adoptive father, Masahisa Goi, who initiated a movement for world peace through the universal prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth. As a spiritual leader and lecturer, she has touched thousands of people’s lives through her guidance and inspiration. She travels globally on speaking tours and has led peace ceremonies in many countries as well as at the United Nations and other international organizations. Masami Saionji is the chairperson and vision holder of the three organizations consisting of the Goi Group: The Goi Peace Foundation, May Peace Prevail On Earth International and Byakko Shinko Kai.
Hiroo Saionji was responsible for establishing the Goi Peace Foundation and May Peace Prevail On Earth International and oversees their direction and international activities. He travels the world promoting dialogues and initiatives for peace, notably the Creating a New Civilization initiative launched in 2005 with 14 international organizations. The Goi Peace Foundation is a think-do-tank connecting spiritual principles to concrete action. The Foundation contributes to sustainable solutions for various global challenges by focusing primarily on research and education for peace and sustainable development, local and global community building, and empowerment of citizens, especially young people. For this purpose, the Foundation cooperates with individuals and organizations across diverse fields, including education, science, culture and the arts.
OUTSTANDING PEACE EDUCATION
Through their service projects, peace fellowships and scholarships, Rotary takes action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources. Each year, Rotary club members:
- Invest hundreds of millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours to prevent disease, improve the health of women and children, provide access to basic education, and ensure communities have clean water and sanitation;
- Support future leaders with scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study in peace and conflict resolution. Rotary’s Peace Center master’s degree program has more than 1,300 graduates in key, decision-making positions in governments, corporations, and organizations around the world working to inspire positive peace on a global scale;
- Partner with the Institute for Economics and Peace to apply data-driven methodologies and tools to support peacebuilding efforts; and
- Foster international goodwill and cultural understanding by engaging the next generation of philanthropists through Rotary’s Interact, Rotaract, and Youth Exchange programs.
OUTSTANDING PEACE SUPPORT
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)
The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) consists of hundreds of civil society organisations from around the world. What unites is the drive and dedication to prevent violence everywhere. Together, we seek a world where violence and armed conflicts are prevented and resolved by peaceful means based on justice, gender equity, sustainable development, and human security for all. GPPAC brings together civil society with relevant local, national, regional and international actors and institutions to collectively contribute to a fundamental change in dealing with violence and armed conflict: a shift from reaction to prevention.
OUTSTANDING PEACE ORGANIZATION
Promundo works to promote gender equality and create a world free from violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women and girls. They envision a world where all people work to create a nonviolent, caring, and gender-equitable future for themselves and for their children. It has worked in collaboration with partners to advance gender equality and prevent violence in over 50 countries through high-impact research and evaluation, targeted advocacy, and evidence-based educational and community-wide program implementation. Founded in 1997, they have reached approximately 10 million individuals, including 4,500 health professionals, 22,000 teachers, 1,700 police, military, and government officials.
OUTSTANDING PEACE TECHNOLOGY
Peace Training EU
Peace Training’s mission is to aggregate a comprehensive collection and analysis on the state-of-the-art in conflict prevention and peacebuilding (CPPB) training in Europe and the EU. Over the period of two years, the project assessed practices, efforts and training needs of European actors. The goal to map out and connect stakeholders, to provide recommendations on best practices, as well as ICT approaches to training involving relevant stakeholders at every stage of the process, has been finally achieved and all aggregated and curated information is available on their online platform. The platform is open and free to CPPB academics and practitioners, individuals and organizations, to register accounts and advertise their training offers, and also to contribute content in the form of events, news, training materials and any other CPPB training-related works, including handbooks, ICT tools, case studies, guides, innovative training methods and concepts in any language, especially English, French, Spanish and German.
OUTSTANDING PEACE JOURNALISM
Jamil is a visionary peace activist, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and an expert on communication strategy. Currently, he is focused on building global awareness of peaceful solutions to conflict. He created a remarkably successful, multi-media symposium called War Stories Peace Stories: Peace Conflict and The Media to bring journalists and peacebuilders together for the first time, designed to encourage journalists to cover peace efforts more frequently. He is planning to recreate the symposium in other cities– Brussels, Bogota and possibly Hiroshima. He is also producing a powerful feature-length documentary film called Beyond Diplomacy: Building Sustainable Peace. This film will tell the story of decades of work to build peace in four countries– Colombia, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland and Burundi. Working for USAID and the World Bank, he and his company develop a communication strategy and design public awareness programs to promote social and environmental reforms in developing countries. He has designed awareness programs in developing countries to promote reform of all kinds– sustainable agriculture in Malawi, conflict resolution skills in Jordan, democracy in Mali, and water conservation in Tunisia.
OUTSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL PEACE
Jane Goodall, DBE
Dr. Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, learned from her time studying wild chimpanzees and their habitats that everything is connected. This helped her innovate community-centered conservation, based on the idea that when we put local communities at the heart of conservation, we can improve the lives of people, other animals, and the environment. Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) advances Dr. Goodall’s holistic approach through two main mission supporting goals and a tapestry of eight objectives that build on each other bringing the power of hope to life. Their objectives of Understanding Chimpanzees, Protecting Chimpanzees and Other Great Apes, Advocacy & Public Awareness, Chimpanzee Welfare, Roots & Shoots, Science and Technology, and Jane’s Legacy work together to create a healthy planet where people make compassionate choices to live sustainably in harmony with each other, other animals and the environment we all share.
Once people realize their power to make a difference in the lives of their families, communities, and environment, there’s no going back—only forward. The Jane Goodall Institute helps one success lead to another as they build on the impact made together: restoring critical habitat to save chimpanzees from extinction; improving health for women and education for girls; cultivating local livelihoods in harmony with nature; and helping young people become the informed generation of compassionate change-makers the world so urgently needs through JGI’s Roots & Shoots youth program in more than 50 countries. Over nearly three decades since it was founded by Dr. Goodall, young people of all ages in more than 100 countries have been involved in the program.
OUTSTANDING INNER PEACE
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. A prolific writer, Thich Nhat Hanh has published over 100 titles in English, ranging from classic manuals on meditation, mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, to poems, children’s stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts. He has been a pioneer in bringing Buddhism to the West, founding six monasteries and dozens of practice centers in America and Europe, as well as over 1,000 local mindfulness practice communities, known as ‘sanghas.’ He has built a thriving community of over 700 monks and nuns worldwide, who, together with his tens of thousands of lay students, apply his teachings on mindfulness, peace-making, and community-building in schools, workplaces, businesses – and even prisons – throughout the world. Thich Nhat Hanh, now in his 93rd year, is a gentle, humble monk – the man Martin Luther King called “An Apostle of peace and nonviolence.” The media has called him “The Father of Mindfulness,” “The Other Dalai Lama” and “The Zen Master Who Fills Stadiums.”
OUTSTANDING ART FOR PEACE
Mohammed Aly Aly ABDELKHALEK
Of Egyptian nationality and currently resident in Spain in Cabrera de Mar (Catalonia), Mohammed is a film and television actor in Egypt. He has produced and starred in the film THE OTHER LAND, based on the epic of current immigration, highlighted by his values of humanity. Its objective is that the future of the African continent is in collaboration with Europe. He is currently financing a project in the city of Barcelona to bridge between Spain and Egypt. The project is a transversal space of reflection and innovation to consolidate our vision of peace in the world.
About the Schengen Peace Foundation, World Peace Forum and Luxembourg Peace Prize
For the eighth consecutive year, the Schengen Peace Foundation and the World Peace Forum will be awarding the prestigious Luxembourg Peace Prize to outstanding peacemakers and activists in Luxembourg. The award comes in alignment with the efforts of the Schengen Peace Foundation, founded in 2005, and approved in 2007 by His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri, as a Peace—Think—Tank, supporting peacebuilding.
In the ‘Spirit of Schengen,’ the Schengen Peace Foundation initiated the World Peace Forum, a global platform for peace activists and peace initiatives. The annual multi-disciplinarian event of the World Peace Forum connects peace activists from around the world to meet, exchange ideas and together achieve greater impact.
In 2012, the Luxembourg Peace Prize was first introduced as an award to outstanding peacemakers. Laureates first received a bronze medal depicting Nelson Mandela. Since 2017 Laureates receive a sculpture by the Columbian artist Duvan.
This year’s Luxembourg Peace Prize Ceremony will be taking place at the historic European Parliament Schuman Building in Luxembourg on 14 June 2019, as a conclusion to the 2018 World Peace Forum edition held in Toronto, Canada, and in preparation for the 2019 World Peace Forum to be held in November in Medellin, Colombia.
For additional information on the Luxembourg Peace Prize, the World Peace Forum, or the Schengen Peace Foundation please visit www.LuxembourgPeacePrize.org and http://worldpeaceforum.org