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Ramsey Clark receives U.N. Human Rights Award 2008

Published Dec 18, 2008 8:39 PM

Based on a release from the International Action Center.

International Action Center founder Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general and internationally renowned human-rights defender, received the respected United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at U.N. Headquarters in New York on Dec. 10.

Ramsey Clark helps build
protest against possible
U.S./Israeli strike on
Iran. IAC's Joyce Chediac
at right.
WW photo: John Catalinotto

The president of the General Assembly, Miguel d´Escoto Brockmann, who is one of the five members of the selection committee, announced the award, which is made every five years to five human rights defenders whose life’s work has been outstanding.

At the U.N. press conference after accepting the award, Ramsey Clark emphasized the U.N.’s role in ensuring world peace, reminding journalists that, “The greatest threat to human rights is war.”

The award is given to individuals and organizations in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Previous recipients have included Nelson Mandela, Amnesty International, Jimmy Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr.

Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said, “As we mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we acknowledge the tireless work and invaluable contribution of these individuals and organizations that have fought to see the rights and freedoms embodied in this historic document become a reality for people in all corners of the world.”

“These awardees constitute symbols of persistence, valour and tenacity in their resistance to public and private authorities that violate human rights. They constitute a moral force to put an end to systematic human rights violations.”

The U.N. announcement described Ramsey Clark as “a veteran human rights defender and rule of law advocate, [who] played a key role in the civil rights and peace movements in the U.S., and more recently has spoken out against abuses committed in the name of ‘counter-terrorism.’”

The International Action Center, founded by Ramsey Clark in 1992, is known internationally for its major role in the anti-war movement in the U.S. and its actions in the forefront of extending solidarity to countries and peoples facing U.S. attack and threats.

The many activists and the large all-volunteer staff of the International Action Center, along with hundreds of people who have worked with him over many years, extend their enthusiastic congratulations to Ramsey Clark for his tireless and courageous efforts. This United Nations Human Rights Award is well deserved.

We remain committed to solidarity with peoples and countries under U.S. attack. We are determined to continue developing ever-wider opposition to U.S. policies of endless war, expanding militarism, racism and growing poverty for millions. ¡Sí, se puede!