Cyprus-based NGO “demonstrated sustained commitment to building a multilingual and multi-faith society”

The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) is an NGO, established in 2003, with “members from various ethnic, linguistic, and professional backgrounds working at various educational levels in Cyprus, making the first steps towards a greater effort: an effort to maintain a continuous, open dialogue about enhanced pedagogic practices that could encourage the values of the discipline of history.” Their aim is to “contribute to the advancement of historical understanding in Cyprus among the public and educators regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or social background, by providing access to learning opportunities based on respect for diversity and the dialogue of ideas.”

According to Astrid Thors, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and chair of the international jury, “AHDR is bi-communal both in terms of its focus area and its staff. Throughout the last 13 years, AHDR demonstrated sustained commitment to building a multilingual and multi-faith society which celebrates diversity and promotes mutual respect and understanding.”

“For AHDR, controversial issues should not be avoided but rather approached in a critical and empathetic way. In order to do so, AHDR provides access to learning opportunities for individuals from different ethnic, religious, cultural and social backgrounds including  teacher training sessions, cultural excursions, seminars and conferences. It developed a range of supplementary teaching materials in order to help, among other things, to address the legacies of a violent past.”

The Association will receive the Award during an official ceremony in The Hague on 24 October 2016.