9 June 2016. On Tuesday 24 May 2016, the 5th annual Luxembourg Peace Prize was held at the European Parliament in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, with laureates being recognised for their actions in promoting peace.

Organised by the Schengen Peace Foundation as one of its three major events this year, the others include the 10th World Peace Forum and the 2nd Youth World Peace Forum in Florianopolis, Brazil, from 22-25 September.

The Tuesday event was preceded by the screening of the film Burden of Peace, which follows Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s first female Attorney General, who is engaged in a burdensome yet brave struggle for justice. This informal event set the tone for the formalities to come on Tuesday, led by Dominicus Rohde, President of the Schengen Peace Foundation, and Vicki Hansen, President of the Luxembourg Chapter, World Peace Forum.

Following the opening by Simone Ramounoulou from Brazil and Jorge Carcavallo from Argentina, a symbolic laying of United Nations flags in what is termed a Mandala illustrated that there are no borders or boundaries to peace.

The 100 attendees present heard Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman and Founder of the Institute of Economics & Peace (IEP) in Australia, talk about measuring peace and the Global Peace Index, followed by a panel discussion on the Economic Costs of War and Benefits of Peace, led by Kai Jacobson, Director of the Department of Peace Operation (PATRIR), and Jorge Carcavallo of Argentina calling for the 1% for Peace Global Initiative.

“The costs of conflict and violence in 2014 has been estimated at USD 14,300 trillion, 13.4% of the global economy. We spend in wars USD 1,700 trillion per year. With 1%, USD 1,700 million a year, we could invest USD 7 million per month, in each country of the world, in Education for Culture of Peace” said Jorge Carcavallo, co-creator of the 1% FOR PEACE movement.

“Just imagine if all governments, local, regional and national, all organisations and even all citizens, take aside 1% of their yearly expenditure into defense, security and alarm systems and invest this into those NGOs, globally working for a Culture of Peace, how many conflicts at all levels could be prevented. And how effective this 99% + 1% rule could possibly become”, emphasised Dominicus Rohde, President of the Schengen Peace Foundation.

The Luxembourg Peace Prize 2016 were presented by Vicki Hansen at the Awards Ceremony, as follows:

– OUTSTANDING PEACE TECHNOLOGY: Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman and Founder of Intitute for Economics and Peace, Global Peace Index, Australia, for The Global Peace Index (GPI) measures peace in 162 countries according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators.

– OUTSTANDING YOUTH PEACEWORKER: Asma Khalifa, Libya, Co-founder at Amazing Women Movement, a think/do tank working on gender equality and research on the indigenous women of Libya and North Africa

– OUTSTANDING PEACE ACTIVISTS: Abdoulrazzak Halim, Syria, Refugee from Amouda, Syria, currently at Luxembourg Refugee Camp; Jorge Castella i Cot, Spain – 2015 Laureate, Founder of the Barcelona based Fundacion de Fomento Europeo

– OUTSTANDING PEACE EDUCATION: Ambassador Giuseppe Cassini and a student of the association Rondine Cittadella della Pace, Onlus, Italy, a hall of residence hosts students from different conflict areas

– OUTSTANDING PEACE SUPPORT: H.E. Serigne Saliou Cisse, Senegal, Ambassador at Large at the International Human Right Commission (not in attendance – to be presented at the Luxembourg Peace Prize 2017)

– OUTSTANDING PUBLIC PEACE EFFORTS: Mr. Bashar El Kiki, Iraq / Kurdistan, President of the Nineveh Provincial Council in Nineveh Iraq / Kurdistan (not in attendance – to be presented at the Luxembourg Peace Prize 2017)

– OUTSTANDING NGO: Mr. Marc Crochet, Director, on behalf of the Red Cross of Luxembourg and the citizens of Europe who have responded to the humanitarian situation

For further details, see www.WorldPeaceForum.org, www.facebook.com/worldpeaceforum

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