Representatives of ADHR receiving the Max van der Stoel Award.

Cyprus-based NGO Association for Historical Dialogue and Research named winner of 2016 Max van der Stoel Award

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Cyprus-based NGO Association for Historical Dialogue and Research named winner of 2016 Max van der Stoel Award

(Original article: SigmaLive.  October 24, 2016)

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, presented the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), a Cyprus-based non-governmental organisation, with the Max van der Stoel Award 2016 for its work on history teaching as a tool for reconciliation in Cyprus. 

The prize was awarded at a ceremony in the Peace Palace in The Hague in October. 

Kyriakos Pachoulides, co chairman of the Association received the prize along with Alev Tuğberk.

Speaking to CNA from The Hague Pachoulides said that the Dutch FM Bert Koenders in his speech praised the work of the Association and pointed out that a better future for Cyprus and its people can be built if one acknowledges the past.

Cyprus Ambassador Elpidoforos Economou said that the government supports the work of the Association and referred to a Conference that will take place in March in the framework of the Cyprus chairmanship of the Council of Europe.

Receiving the prize Pachoulides said that the members of the Association now have a bigger responsibility towards the people of Cyprus adding that education plays an extremely important role in building a society of peace and prosperity.

Receiving the prize Pachoulides said that the members of the Association now have a bigger responsibility towards the people of Cyprus adding that education plays an extremely important role in building a society of peace and prosperity.

He said that history lessons in schools should help students to understand the history of Cyprus and to build a rational thinking.

Pachoulides added that a prerequisite for a Cyprus solution is to build confidence and respect among the people.

A Cypriot student in The Hague, Yiannis Koutis played music by Yanni, with the traditional ud instrument.

In its justification the International Jury of the Max van der Stoel Award said that, “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.”

AHDR was established in 2003 by a group of history educators and researchers dedicated to the advancement of historical understanding and critical thinking amongst the public and, more specifically, amongst pupils, educators and civil society.

The Max van der Stoel Award, a prize of 50,000 euros, is presented every two years to a person, group or institution for extraordinary and outstanding achievements in improving the position of national minorities and inter-communal relations in the OSCE participating states.

The Award was established in 2001 by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and honours Max van der Stoel, a prominent Dutch statesman who was the first OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, while also highlighting issues related to national minorities.

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