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The North South Prize of Lisbon

The Lisbon North-South Prize has been awarded annually since 1995 to two public figures who are recognised for their deep commitment, outstanding achievements and/or the hope they have generated in the field of individual rights protection, the defence of pluralist democracy and North-South solidarity and partnership.


In 1995, one of the prizes went to Peter Gabriel, whose musical work contributed to the dissemination of music from different parts of the world. In 1992, he launched the Witness programme which provided logistical support to human rights militants worldwide. The other prize was awarded to Vera Duarte, the first woman to be elected to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.


Danielle Mitterrand

Femmes algériennes

The 1996 North-South Prize went to Danielle Mitterrand, president of the France Libertés Foundation, for her position in favour of the human rights and, symbolically, to Algerian women, for their daily fight for freedom.


Mary Robinson

Patricio Aylwin

Mary Robinson received the 1997 North-South Prize. Thanks to her sustained involvement in the field of human rights, the former president of Ireland was appointed United Nations Human Rights Commissioner. Patricio Aylwin, former president of Chile, passionately supported and defended the transition to democracy in his country. He was awarded the other prize in recognition of his work.


Graça Machel

Lloyd Axworthy

The 1998 prize was awarded to Graça Machel, chairperson of the National Organisation of Children of Mozambique for her outstanding work with war children in her country and, at the same time, for her dedication to the cause of education. Lloyd Axworthy, Canadian Foreign Minister, received the prize for his notable work in the fight against antipersonnel mines all over the world.


Abderrahman Youssoufi et Emma Bonino

In 1999, European commissioner, Emma Bonino, was rewarded for her commitment to major human causes through her direct intervention in war-torn countries and with disadvantaged populations. The other prize went to Abderrahman Youssoufi, Prime Minister of Morocco and a passionate defender of human rights in Arab countries, in recognition of his sustained, unconditional work for the cause.


Marguerite Barankitse

Mário Soares

The winners of the 2000 North-South Prize was Marguerite Barankitse, for her organisation of children’s shelters in Burundi and Mário Soares, former president of Portugal. Ms Barankitse made her mark through her dedication to the cause of war children and of war orphans in particular. Mr Soares is well-known for his fight against the dictatorship in his country.


Maria de Nazaré Gadelha Ferreira Fernandes

Cornelio Sommaruga

In 2001, the prize went to Maria de Nazaré Gadelha Ferreira Fernandes, lawyer for the Human Rights Defence Centre in the Rio Branco diocese, in the state of Acre (Brazil). Her testimony as to the exostence of organised extermination and drug-trafficking groups in the state made her a target for serious threats. The prize was also awarded to Cornelio Sommaruga, PhD in law, former president of the International Red Cross Committee, ardent defender of the Ottawa Process and an expert on the issue of mines.


The jury decided to award the 2002 North-South Prize to Albina du Boisrouvray, founder and president of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Association, known for its action in the protection of orphans and AIDS victims on different continents, and to Xanana Gusmão, president of East Timor and leader of the Timorese resistance from 1979 to 1999, recognised as a fervent supporter of the rule of law, pluralistic democracy and respect for human rights.


In 2003, the jury honoured parliamentarians by awarding the North-South Prize to Frene Ginwala, speaker of the South African Parliament and a militant in the antiapartheid movement, who lived in exile for many years and was the driving force behind the creation of the Pan-African Parliament, and to António de Almeida Santos, former speaker of the Portuguese Parliament (1995 to 2001), who had an outstanding career as a parliamentarian and leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party.


In 2004 the recipients of the North-South Prize were Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian writer and psychiatrist, and Stéphane Hessel, Ambassador of France. As a result of her literary and scientific writings, Nawal El Saadawi has suffered countless hardships in her life and sometimes even received threats, which caused her to spend five years in exile. Stéphane Hessel is known for his courageous stand and his writing in favour of the disadvantaged and the defence of human rights. He was a member of the French government under Pierre Mendes France and occupied several positions in the UN. In 1996, he was a mediator in the conflict over undocumented immigrants in France.


The winners of the 2005 North-South Prize were Mme Bogaletch Gebre (Ethiopia), Director of the Kembatta Women’s Self-Help Center, a non-governmental organization whose objectives are to fight against all concerned by women's rights and all other forms of abuse and M. Bob Geldof (Ireland), Musician and Producer, working on the African questions the last 20 years and member of the Commission for Africa. He is involved in the “Make Poverty History campaign”, which is a coalition calling for trade justice, debt cancellation and more, better, aid.


The jury decided to award the 2006 North-South Prize to Mrs Mukhtaran Bibi (Pakistan), well known for her determination in promoting the women’s rights in Pakistan and Father Van der Hoff (The Netherlands), Founder of the Fair Trade Association Max Havelaar.