In front of an audience of more than 1000 people from the International and Stockholm legal, political and academic communities, this year’s Stockholm Human Rights Award was delivered on 24 November to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raʿad al-Hussein by the Swedish king Carl XVI Gustaf.
The General Secretary of the Swedish Bar Association, Anne Ramberg gave a welcoming address in which she referred to Zeid Raʿad al-Husseins efforts in establishing the International Criminal Court, ICC and also his work on gender justice and especially his milestone UN report on the atrocities committed by UN peace keeping troops.
Since 1 September 2014 Zeid Raʿad al-Hussein is the UN High Commissioner on Human rights and was given the Stockholm Human Rights award for his efforts in combating sexual and gender based violence and also for taking a leading role on UN investigations on SGBV crimes committed by UN troops. He is also a strong voice in the fight against impunity and was one of the key figures in establishing the International Criminal Court. He has also worked for the UN in former Yugoslavia and contributed to the documentation of the genocide in Srebrenica.
In his acceptance speech Zeid Raʿad al-Hussein also acknowledged the work of the whole UN-commission and it’s staff and also referred to Sweden’s fundamental and profound respect for human rights and the important role that Sweden has played in the UN system.
– We in the UN count on Sweden in defending human rights, and Sweden can count on the UN, said Zeid Raʿad al-Hussein.
During the award ceremony’s closing Q&A session with the IBA Executive Director Mark Ellis, Zeid Raʿad al-Hussein kept coming back to that both the current migrant and refugee crisis, as well as the climate change and the upcoming UN Climate conference in Paris, is really challenging the protection of human rights.
– In Paris, leaders of the world can show that they are capable of taking the necessary steps in order to make this blue planet able to live on. But if they fail, we are really facing some serious challenges.
Stockholm Human Rights award in the past
Zeid Raʿad al-Hussein was the seventh Stockholm Human Rights award laureate. The former recipients are:
2013 M. Cherif Bassiouni.
2012 Dezideriu Gergely and Thomas Hammarberg
2011 George Soros and Aryeh Neier
2010 Navi Pillay
2009 Richard Goldstone