The Laureate 2015
Prince Zeid Raʿad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan is the recipient of the 2015 Stockholm Human Rights Award.
Prince Zeid Raʿad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is the recipient of the 2015 Stockholm Human Rights Award in recognition of his work in the pursuit of advancing international justice and for strengthening respect for human rights.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raʿad al-Hussein.
Photo by Micke Lundström.
Unanimously elected to the position of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid has a robust track record on accountability for grave crimes; fighting against sexual and gender-based violence; condemning and leading investigations into abuses allegedly committed by UN peacekeeping personnel including rape, the trafficking of human beings and illicit narcotics, and insisting on a zero-tolerance policy for such offences. He is an avid advocate in the fight against impunity, and was a key figure in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. His career also includes work for the UN in the former Yugoslavia, following which he helped ensure the creation of a report documenting the causes of the genocide in Srebrenica.
Prince Zeid served as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent Representative, and then Permanent Representative, at the UN from 1996 to 2007. Then for three years he was Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States of America, before returning to the UN in 2010 as Jordan’s Permanent Representative. He has a reputation of working to unveil widespread human rights violations and steering countries away from victor’s justice.
As the first UN High Commissioner from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, many MENA Coalition members agree that his appointment signalled the international community’s commitment to the defence of human rights in the Arab world. With tensions escalating in many parts of the MENA region, the challenges he has faced, and continues to face, in addressing injustice and human rights violations are significant.
Prince Zeid has spoken extensively of the need for greater moral courage to ensure equality and human rights for all, and has stated, as reported by Haaretz, that: ‘the solution for avoiding atrocities such as the Holocaust was human rights education for every child in the world, beginning before the age of nine. He said, “In this way, from Catholic parochial schools to the most secular public institutions, and indeed Islamic madrassahs, children could learn – even in kindergarten – and experience the fundamental human rights values of equality, justice and respect.”’
The 2015 Stockholm Human Rights Award was presented to Prince Zeid on Tuesday 24 November 2015 at Berwaldhallen, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 3, Stockholm, Sweden.