MONACO, March 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
- HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Awarded 2018 European Medal of Tolerance, Dr Kantor praised his record for "tackling the challenges of co-existence, respect and compassion"
- ECTR holds round-table addressing "the threat of radicalisation" in Monaco with leading academic experts and policy influencers, led by Dr Moshe Kantor and ECTR Chairman Tony Blair
ECTR President Dr Moshe Kantor today launched the €1 million 'Kantor Prize For Secure Tolerance' at the European Council for Tolerance and Reconciliation's (ECTR's) round-table in Monaco. The prize will be awarded by ECTR leading panel of academic advisers, including John Gray and Antony Beevor. Dr. Moshe Kantor said the prize rewards "exceptional achievements in research and advance thinking on 'Secure Tolerance'", to promote progressive thinking to help Europeans act in advance of impending threats to their security and human rights.
Making a special welcome address at today's event, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco reiterated his appreciation and support for the ECTR activities to promote a tolerant vision for Europe, before Dr. Kantor and Tony Blair presented His Serene Highness with the 2018 European Medal of Tolerance award.
Heralding Prince Albert's commitment to advancing a true account of the Holocaust, Dr. Moshe Kantor said his focus on historical accuracy supports "the best traditions of the Principality in tackling challenges of co-existence, respect and compassion".
Accepting the 2018 European Medal of Tolerance, HSH Prince Albert II said: "Tolerance is a significant value and a necessary condition of life in society in today's unified world." Calling for "a responsible and objective approach" to tackling extremism in these "troubled times" for the international community, His Serene Highness paid tribute to the ECTR's work in promoting research to advance our definitions of tolerance to meet the global communities new and "unprecedented" challenges and offered his full support for the initiative.
ECTR Chairman, the Rt. Honourable Tony Blair said it was "essential we don't sit back and let extremism and intolerance become an accepted part of our public discourse". "Co-existence is a vital universal value in a world where people of different cultures and religions mix, both on and offline, more than ever before…freedom of speech must be protected. But people have a right to feel safe in their homes and communities," he added. Paying tribute to the announcement of the Kantor Prize for Secure Tolerance, the former British Prime Minister said it was "such a welcome initiative, as it seeks new ideas from leading thinkers to preserve and create free, open and pluralist societies".
Political, academic and non-profit participants from 22 countries met in Monaco to address the threat of radicalisation and issues surrounding the challenges to tolerance in European societies. The three key issues discussed were political radicalisation, online hate speech and integrating immigrant communities.
Opening the "ECTR Round Table: Tackling Extremism and Intolerance in a Diverse Society" at the Salon Bellevue in Monaco, ECTR President Dr. Moshe Kantor warned that social fragmentation combined with a disenfranchised population were a breeding ground for extremism in Europe.
"Violent developments outside Europe have resulted in an unprecedented wave of culturally diverse refugee and immigration streams," Dr. Kantor said. "Suddenly the continent which was generally free from a major conflict and profited from globalization and open borders, has started to feel vulnerable and insecure."
"The global, liberal perspective has been overshadowed by the return of isolationism and nationalism. The world for us, Europeans, has become pre-dominantly a source of threats, rather than opportunities."
Stressing the need to support thinking to make tolerance more secure and sustainable, Dr. Kantor argued that without clear and proactive "action to prevent these threats, the errors and disasters of the twentieth century could be repeated".
Other speakers at the event included President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights and Former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy and EU Commissioner for Justice Franco Frattini, Former Foreign Affairs Minister of Serbia and Former President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic and Rachida Dati MEP, former French Minister of Justice.
About the ECTR
The ECTR is an opinion-making and advisory body on international tolerance promotion, reconciliation and education, and fosters understanding and tolerance, educates towards reconciliation, facilitates post-conflict social apprehensions, monitors racism, antisemitism and xenophobia and proposes pro-tolerance initiatives and legal solutions. Among its prominent members are Tony Blair, ECTR Board Chairman, Jose María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia and Rita Süssmuth, former Speaker of the German Bundestag. Founding member of the ECTR was the late Vaclav Havel, one of the principal leaders of the democratic transformation in Central Europe.
About the European Medal of Tolerance
The European Medal of Tolerance is intended to honour living individuals and active public or private bodies and institutions that have made a significant contribution to promoting and safeguarding, democracy, respect and tolerance on the European continent. Previous recipients of Medal include: His Majesty, the King of Spain; President of Croatia Ivo Josipović and former President of Serbia Boris Tadić; footballer Samuel Eto'o and the FARE (Football against Racism in Europe) Network.
SOURCE European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR)