|Vaira Vike Freiberga, former president of Latvia, has joined this year’s Prize Jury and explains her commitment.|
As a Member of the Fondation Chirac Prize Jury for Conflict Prevention, what, what does this prize mean to you?
Why did you accept President Chirac’s invitation to join the Prize Jury?
My esteem and friendship for President Chirac date back to the period when we were both in office. I am greatly honored by his invitation and see it as a sign of his confidence in me.
Which regions concern you most?
The world if full of long-standing conflicts, with unpredictable and acute outbreaks that can erupt at any time. Conflict prevention requires constant vigilance and unremitting efforts.
Accordingly, which sectors, which projects shuld policy makes focus on in order to prevent tensions from escalating into conflicts?
Each region has its own specificity and internation interventions should always be based on a serious consideration of the factors and forces involved, and, as much as possible, on the collaboration of local forces.
On November 5, 2010 the Second Award Ceremony of the Fondation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention will take place at the Musée Quai Branly.
The Fondation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention is now embodied byt the “Leaf Child”, sculpted by Ousmane Sow. The Senegalese artist defines his work: “There is not only man who can protect man. Nature can as well. But man is not yet sufficiently aware of this. I chose the poetry of childhood by representing a baby protected not only by a leaf, but also by the spiders who have spun a web around this leaf, transforming in into a sort of coccon.”
The Work of the Experts Committee
In 2009/2010, the Experts for the Conflict Prevention Prize have focused specifically on certain areas of tension, taking into account three criteria.
The Experts are concentrating this year on seven specific areas: the African Great Lakes region, the Israeli Palestinian zone, the Sudan, the Philippines, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, The Mano River region, and Transcaucasia.
Analysis of these areas has identified particularly innovative efforts ranging from the roots of conflict, their relationship with the rule of law, intercultural dialogue, land rights, and the development of local political debate.