Sydney Peace Prize to Human Rights Campaigner
Thursday, 2nd June 2011 at 9:09 am
American linguist, social scientist and human rights campaigner Professor Noam Chomsky has been awarded the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize.
The Award was presented at the Sydney Town Hall on June 1st by the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir.
The Sydney jury’s citation for this award reads:
‘For inspiring the convictions of millions about a common humanity and for unfailing moral courage. For critical analysis of democracy and power, for challenging secrecy, censorship and violence and for creating hope through scholarship and activism to promote the attainment of universal human rights.’
Speaking from his home in Boston, Professor Chomsky says he is honoured to receive the prestigious award.
He says he is also grateful to the Sydney Peace Foundation in their pursuit of justice, as in their recent award to Julian Assange for his courageous exercise of his responsibilities as a citizen of free societies.
Prof Rees says the award comes at a time of violence and protest around the world. Across the Middle East brave people challenge authoritarian rule, yearn for freedom and for a state of their own.
Yet, he says in Australia, leading politicians are still to find the courage to craft policies, such as those affecting refugees and asylum seekers, which reflect the hopes and standards set by Chomsky’s life and work.
Professor Chomsky will give the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture in the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 2 November, and will receive the $50,000 prize plus a hand-made glass trophy crafted by the Australian artist Brian Hirst, at a gala dinner held at the University of Sydney on Thursday 3 November.
The Sydney Peace Foundation says come November 2011, thousands of people will not only take the opportunity to hear Professor Chomsky speak, but will also want to express their gratitude to him.
Previous recipients of the Sydney Peace Prize have included the Nobel Laureates Professor Muhammad Yunus and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Indigenous leader Patrick Dodson, former Governor General Sir William Deane, diplomat and nuclear disarmament advocate Dr. Hans Blix, human rights campaigners such as the Palestinian educator Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, the Indian novelist Arundhati Roy and the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.
The Sydney Peace Foundation is a Not for Profit organisation created in 2003 within the University of Sydney. It selects and awards the Sydney Peace Prize; develops corporate sector and community understanding of the value of peace with justice in diverse contexts and countries; sponsors peace initiatives, particularly the work of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney; teaches peace and conflict studies and creates jobs for young people in areas of peace research, conflict resolution and the promotion of human rights; awards scholarships and internships in peace, human rights and conflict resolution.