The IPB Seán MacBride Peace Award 2019 goes to Elayne Whyte Gómez and Bruce Kent

06.09.2019 - Berlin, Germany - International Peace Bureau

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The IPB Seán MacBride Peace Award 2019 goes to Elayne Whyte Gómez and Bruce Kent
Séan MacBride Peace Priza Laureates for 2019, Elayne Whyte Gómez (Costa Rica) and Bruce Kent (UK) (Image by Garry Knight (Bruce Kent) and Pressenza (Elayne Whyte Gómez))

Every year the International Peace Bureau (Nobel Peace Laureate 1910) awards a special prize to a person or organisation that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights. These were the principal concerns of Sean MacBride, the distinguished Irish statesman who was Chairman of IPB from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride was a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1974), deputy General Secretary of the UN and founder of the UN disarmament committee.  The Prize was established 1992, IPB’s centenary year.

In 2018 the Prize was awarded to the Association For Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and Home for Cooperation (H4C), for the AHDR’s Board brilliant example of how productive cooperation, creative ideas, and respect can blossom, regardless of division and H4C’s extensive variety of cultural, artistic and educational programs with the aim of fostering creativity and intercultural trust in Cyprus and internationally; Helena Maleno, for founding the association “Caminando Fronteras”, which is one of the main organizations at the southern European border devoted to denouncing human rights violations; and to Douglas Roche, for his indefatigable work, in particular as President of the UN Association and as Ambassador for Disarmament during the height of the Cold War.

Further Laureates from previous years include Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn, Chelsea Manning, The people and government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the All Okinawa Coalition Against New Construction of Henoko Base

For the year 2019 the board of IPB has decided to present awards to:

Bruce Kent

Bruce Kent is an internationally known peace activist and a “real peace hero” who, even in his 90th year, remains an active campaigner and organizer for peace and human rights. He was one of the main speakers at the big march and demonstration against nucear weapons in London in 2016.

Bruce was ordained as a Catholic Priest in the Diocess of Westminster in London in 1958 and was a Chaplain to Pax Christi from 1974-1977. He joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in 1960 and was elected chair from 1977-1979, becoming the General Secretary in 1979 for 6 years. He was elected CND Chair again from 1987-1990. He was also Chair of War on Want from 1974-1976 and was the British co-ordinator for the Hague Appeal for Peace in 1999. He is now a Vice-President of CND, Pax Christi and Movement for the Abolition of War (which he co-founded in 2001).

He was also one of the founders and main organizers of the European Nuclear Disarmament Campaign in the 1980s. He was also, in 1988, one of the main organizers of a 1000-mile peace walk from Warsaw to NATO HQ in Brussels to call for a united, peaceful, nuclear-free Europe.

Bruce was IPB President from 1985 till 1992 and he has been an inspiration to so many people of all ages in the UK and elsewhere.

Elayne Whyte Gómez

“We wanted to change the world,” Ambassador Elayne Whyte Goméz said of herself and her classmates 24 years ago to an audience of students, staff and community members in a University. That aspiration continues to fuel her work. Ambassador Whyte is a career diplomat who is proudly serving as Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office in Geneva. “Costa Rica which is a country that decided 70 years ago to have a different approach to peace and security by abolishing its armed forces. So that means for a country like us, that we have put all our trust in an international system, that through rules and institutions we can resolve the conflicts and problems of humanity” she explains in an interview with Pressenza.

This dedication to improve international law inspired this young diplomat to lead successfully the negotiations of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017, as an ultimate step of successful disarmament treaty negotiations.

Between 2014 and 2015, she was co-Chair of the 5th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). She is currently a member of the Committee on the Implementation of Article 5 of the Conference of the States parties to the Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC) and a vice-president of the Conference of the States parties of the APLC. She was vice-president of the Second Conference of the States Parties of the Arms Trade Treaty.

Her leadership at the UN conferences negotiating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from March to July 2017 was a background of the success of thc Treaty. The negotiations were brought to a successful conclusion in July 2017 and the treaty has been ratified by 26 countries and signed by 70 at the time of writing. During the conference she developed a new style of work, allowing the contribution of civil society and experts, together with diplomats. She is deeply connected to nuclear disarmament and a world free of nuclear weapons.

IPB is proud to award Mrs Gómez the Séan MacBride Prize, for her invaluable contribution to the completion of the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and salute the work and dedication of this young woman in a key disarmament process where too few women have the opportunity to lead.

The award will be given to Bruce Kent in London at the annual meeting of IPB on October 20th.

Further questions to Reiner Braun +49-1722317475

Categories: International, Peace and Disarmament, Press Releases
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