Thursday 14 January 2010

Four Freedoms Award 2010 Granted to European Court

It has just been made public that the International Four Freedoms Award 2010 will be granted to the European Court of Human Rights. This annual award was created to honour the Four Freedoms, as first declared by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on January 6th 1941 in an address to the American Congress: freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

According to the press release of the organising committee:

The European Court of Human Rights will receive the award for its contribution to the protection of individual human rights in post-war Europe in the past half century. Since its founding in 1959 the Court has decided more than 10,000 cases on the basis of the principles laid out in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950. The principles of this Convention include the right to a fair trial and a condemnation of discrimination and can be traced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. The European Court for Human Rights offers citizens an accessible tool to strengthen an effective democracy and reinforce a constitutional state. The Court effectively applies the principles of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms in the contemporary world.
The President of the Court Jean Paul Costa, will accept the medal on behalf of the Court at a ceremony in the Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg, the Netherlands, on May 29. At the same ceremony, four specific medals will also be handed out concerning each of the four freedoms:

The Freedom of Speech and Expression Medal will be granted to the Russian weekly Novaya Gazeta, for their resolute commitment to freedom of the press, the Freedom of Worship Medal to human rights activist and UN-rapporteur for freedom of religion Dr. Asma Jahangir from Pakistan, the Freedom from Want Medal to Maurice Strong from Canada, in recognition of his role as a foremost spokesman regarding global environmental concerns and the principle of sustainability, and the Freedom from Fear Medal to Gareth Evans former Foreign Minister of Australia and recently retired Chair of the International Crisis Group, headquartered in Brussels. Gareth Evans career is reflected in the significan role he has been assigned in preparation for the UN negotiations of the nuclear non-proliferation agreements.
Congratulations to the Court and to all the victims of human rights it has helped to find justice! Surely, this is an impetus to continue its good work, towards Interlaken and beyond. Find more information on the website of the Four Freedoms Awards.