Normandy World Peace Forum

The Normandy World Peace Forum is a major international event initiated by the Normandy Region, which will be attended by heads of state, leading academics, political specialists and guest speakers on 4th and 5th June 2019 in Caen, just before the anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

Second edition: 'The Peacemakers'

This Normandy World Peace Forum is an annual opportunity for reflection and discussions on global tensions and peace-building. It is part of the Region’s considerable focus on remembrance and peace since 1945. Supported by regional authorities, museums and the educational community, many initiatives have been created to share these memories and to support new generations as they try to understand the modern world and the peace- building process. The Normandy World Peace Forum is also a laboratory for sustainable peace with initiatives, certified projects and events all year long to promote the values of peace and freedom.

The 2019 World Forum, focused on the theme of ‘The Peacemakers’, will include conferences, debates, a Village for Peace and highlights for young people.

The first edition brought together more than 5,000 people alongside internationally renowned public figures, including Ban Ki-Moon, former Secretary General of the UN, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Vice President of the European Parliament and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former French Prime Minister.

Highlights

The highlights of this second edition will include three major conferences, thirty topical and interactive debates with a focus on Colombia to illustrate the Forum’s overall theme, the presentation of the European Parliament’s 'Normandy for Peace’ index, the signing of the Normandy for Peace Manifesto, the European programme Walk the Global Walk with 800 young people from Normandy and their work on sustainable development projects, the award ceremony of the first Freedom Prize, attended by young people and veterans of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, to whom the Region will pay an incredible tribute.

The Freedom Prize

The Freedom Prize gives young people aged 15 to 25 from all over the world the opportunity to choose an exemplary public figure or an organisation, committed to the fight for freedom.

An international panel of judges, led by the newspaper cartoonist YAK, chose three finalists from more than a hundred nominations received from all over France and around the world. The nominees are: Raif Badawi, Lu Guang and Greta Thunberg.

The winner of the first edition of the Freedom Prize will be decided by an online vote, open to young people aged 15 to 25, from 1st to 31st March 2019.

The Freedom Prize award ceremony will be held on 5th June 2019 in the Abbaye-aux-Dames in Caen, as part of the events for the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, and will be attended by veterans.

The winner will receive a cheque for €25,000 and a trophy created by the final-year applied arts class, specialising in woodworking, at the Lycée Augustin Boismard de Brionne in the Eure department.

Attendees

Many famous public figures will be attending the forum this year, including 5 Nobel Prize winners!

Mohammed ElBaradei, an Egyptian diplomat and poli- tician, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 with the International Atomic Energy Agency, of which he was the Director General, for their efforts to prohibit the use of nuclear energy for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes in the safest possible way.

Leymah Gbowee, Liberian social worker and activist for peace in Africa, joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkol Karman for their struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.

José Manuel Ramos-Horta, East Timorese politician, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, with Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, for their work to find a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor.

Denis Mukwege, joint winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize with Nadia Murad. They were recognised for their fight against the use of “sexual violence as a weapon of war” in conflicts. Denis Mukwege is a gynaecologist, known in the international community as the “man who repairs women”.

Jody Williams, an American professor, winner of the No- bel Peace Prize in 1997, with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines for their work to ban and destroy landmines.

Manifesto

The 2019 Normandy World Peace Forum will launch a public call for awareness of the need for lasting peace in partnership with the Strategic Foresight Group, a think tank led by Sundeep Waslekar.

Written and presented to the Forum by the Nobel Prize winners Jody Williams, Mohamed ElBaradei, Leymah Gbowee, José Ramos Horta and civil society leaders committed to peace, including the philosopher Anthony Grayling, this Manifesto will be submitted for signature by all 2019 Global Forum participants. The Normandy for Peace Manifesto is inspired by the Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955.

The Russell–Einstein Manifesto was issued in London in 1955 in the midst of the Cold War. This manifesto em- phasised the dangers of nuclear weapons. It called on world leaders to seek peaceful solutions to international conflicts. It was signed by leading intellectuals and scien- tists including Albert Einstein.

Tribute to D-Day Veterans

As part of the 75th anniversary commemorations, Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region, is inviting veterans of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy to a ceremony in their honour at the Women’s Abbey in Caen on 5 June at 2pm. It will be dedicated to the Allied Forces who 75 years ago risked their lives to restore peace and freedom in Europe. An official invitation to the ceremony has been sent to veteran associations across the UK. In addition, nearly 1,000 young people from around the world are expected to attend.