After publicly defending a previous winner of the Sydney Peace Prize – Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi in 2003 – this year’s choice seems perfect for our times:
Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, chairman of the UN Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, has been awarded the 2007 Sydney Peace Prize.
The Sydney Peace Foundation, which announced the award on Monday morning, said Dr Blix was the unanimous choice of the prize jury.
The citation reads: “Hans Blix, for principled and courageous opposition to proponents of war in Iraq, for lifelong advocacy of humanitarian law and non-violence and for leadership of disarmament programs to rid the world of weapons of terror”.
Dr Blix, the former chief UN weapons inspector, declared in 2004 that the war in Iraq was illegal.
In 2003, he said Iraq had probably destroyed all its weapons of mass destruction in the early 1990s.
The jury for the Sydney peace prize is made up of seven community leaders from diverse fields, including business, media and academia, who assess the merits of an individual or organisation to promote peace and justice.
Alan Cameron, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, says it is highly relevant that in the 10th anniversary year of the Sydney Peace Prize, the jury focused on universal disarmament as a major peace issue.
Of course, if you’re an Australian Zionist organisation, you’ll be recognising the country’s moral pygmy instead. Far more important. And revealing.