The National Network for Children was nominated by the Polish Embassy for the Polish Prize of Sergio Vieira de Melo, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2002-2003). The nomination is in the NGO category, His Excellency the ambassador of Poland in Bulgaria Krzysztof Kraevski commented.
The winners will be announced in September. The prize is given in two categories – a person and a non-governmental organization. The prize was set up in 2003 to promote human rights, democracy and tolerance. The award laureates have so far been well known activists and human rights defenders and organizations around the world, including the “Amalipe” Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance, which received the award in 2014.
The Prize is awarded to individuals and organizations from all over the world by the Panel of Judges composed of High Representatives of: the President of the Republic of Poland; UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil to Poland; Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Poland; Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Institute of National Remembrance; Polish Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection, Embassies, Consulates and Foundations supporting actions of the Villa Decius Association in matters related to human rights; Founders of the Prize; Chairman and Director of the Villa Decius Association.
Sergio Vieira de Mello was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1948. He obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Humanities at the Sorbonne University in Paris. He devoted almost whole his life to work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and since 1969 participated in humanitarian and peace missions in Bangladesh, Sudan, Cyprus, Mozambique and Peru. In 1981, he became senior political adviser to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. Between 1983 and 1991, he held highest positions in UNHCR in Geneva and countries under UN protection. As Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, he performed duties of the Director for Repatriation for the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). He was the head of United Nations Protection Force in former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR). In 1996 he was appointed Assistant of the UN Secretary-General and Assistant of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As Special Envoy for the UN Secretary-General, he was Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Great Lakes in Africa. Two years later, in New York, he became UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He was Special Envoy for the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo (1999) and later he became the head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in years 1999-2002. On 12 September 2002, Sergio Vieira de Mello was appointed as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In June 2003, as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, he started four months long negotiating mission to Iraq. He was killed on 19 August 2003 in terrorist bombing of the UN seat in Baghdad.
Laureates of the Prize:
Tadeusz Mazowiecki (Poland) and the ‘One World’ Association (Poland), 2004
Father Marian Żelazek SVD (India) and the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe (Poland), 2005
Alaksandr Milinkiewicz (Belarus) and Jewish Culture Festival (Poland), 2006
Maryna Hulia (Russian Federation-Poland) and the Magurycz Association (Poland), 2007
Krystyna Pryjomko-Serafin (United Kingdom) and Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland); Honorary Prize – Szewach Weiss (Izrael) and Distinction of the Panel of Judges – Michał Żejmis (Poland), 2008
Fatos Lubonja (Albania) and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (Iraq); Honorary Prize – Leopold Unger (Belgium-Poland), 2009
Nagy El-Khoury i Mohammad al-Nokkari (Lebanon) and the ‘Memorial’ Association (Russian Federation); Honorary Prize – Late Andrzej Przewoźnik (Poland), 2010
Hassan Omar Hassan (Kenya) and the Halina Niec Legal Aids Centre (Poland); Honorary Prize – Bernard Kouchner (France), 2011
Sister Rafael – Urszula Nałęcz (Rwanda-Poland) and the ‘People in Need’ Association (Czech Republic); Honorary Prize – Arnold Wellman (USA), 2012
Myrosław Marynowicz (Ukraine) and Denis Hurley Centre (Republic of South Africa); Honorary Prize – Adam Daniel Rotfeld (Poland), 2013.
Leyla Yunus (Azerbaijan), Amalipe Centre for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance (Bulgaria), 2014.
Pietro Bartolo (Italy), La Strada – Foundation against Trafficking In Persons and Slavery (Poland), 2015
Tahira Abdullah (Pakistan), Culturesof Resistance Network Foundation oraz Staffan de Mistura (Italy), 2016