Ceremony of the Human Rights Award (online event)

Together! Strengthening Human Rights & Multilateralism.

16 November 2020. 4pm – 5.30pm: A conversation with Zoran Zaev. Laudation by Heiko Maas

For human rights, 2020 is a difficult year. While many authoritarian regimes – in the shadow of the Corona pandemic – were able to restrict human rights far beyond an appropriate response to the virus, the international community is struggling to condemn those violations. Each and every country seems too preoccupied with itself.

Therefore, it is even more important to recognise those achievements that are countering this trend. One such positive beacon of hope is Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of North Macedonia. Zaev’s achievements lie not only in the conclusion of the Friendship Treaty with Bulgaria in 2017 and the Prespa Agreement with Greece, which ended a 27-year-long name dispute, but above all in North Macedonia itself. Already as leader of the opposition, Zaev emerged as an important figure who stood up for civil and human rights of all Macedonians and peacefully advocated for new elections in the context of the "colourful revolution" movement.

After many disappointments, Zaev’s determined reform agenda led to the EU member states’ decision to open accession negotiations between the EU and North Macedonia in March and paved the way for North Macedonia to join NATO as its 30th member.

In awarding this year’s Human Rights Award, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is paying tribute to Zoran Zaev's outstanding achievements. We are honoured that with Heiko Maas, Germany’s Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is particularly committed to fostering EU accession of the Western Balkans during the German EU Presidency, will be delivering the laudatory speech.

Following the award ceremony, we would like to open the debate by asking how we defend human rights and multilateralism at a time when these values are coming under increasing pressure.

Zoran Zaev (laureate)

Zoran Zaev has been Prime Minister of North Macedonia since 2017. He is a native of the town of Strumica, where he still lives with his family today. Zoran Zaev grew up in modest circumstances and, after studying economics, joined his uncle's business. As a businessman, Zaev was already engaged in socio-political activities and joined the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) in 1996.

From 2003 to 2005 he was a member of the parliament “Sobranie”, in 2005 he became mayor of Strumica. Zoran Zaev has been chairman of the SDSM since 2013, where he established himself as the loud and critical voice of the opposition in a time of autocratic backsliding. He uncovered a wiretapping scandal and sought for solidarity with civil society in the Colourful Revolution of 2016.

In May 2017, Zoran Zaev finally became Prime Minister. He recently took up his second term after being re-elected in early parliamentary elections in July 2020.

Heiko Maas (laudator)

Heiko Maas has been Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany since 2018. Born in Saarlouis on the French border, Maas first studied law in Saarbrücken, after which he joined the Saarland state parliament in 1994.

He was chairman of the SPD faction in the Saarland state parliament for 13 year. Since 2001, Maas is also a member of the SPD party executive committee on the national level. Before becoming Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas was Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection from 2013 to 2018.

Programme

15:50 - 16:00

musical introduction: Hajdi Elzeser on piano

16:00 - 16:20

official start of the event
moderator: Jana Pareigis
welcome remarks: Kurt Beck, Chairman of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung        
film clip from Skopje

16:20 - 16:50

laudatory speech: Heiko Maas, Federal Foreign Minister of Germany
award ceremony
acceptance speech by the laureate: Zoran Zaev
Hajdi Elzeser on piano

16:50 - 17:25

Zoran Zaev & Goran Buldioski (director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe) in dialogue:

How do we defend human rights and multilateralism at a time when these values are coming under increasing pressure?

17:25 - 17:30

farewell & end of the event

17:30 - 17:40

musical ending: Hajdi Elzeser on piano

Review 1994-2019 (in German)

2018: USA (ausgesetzt)

2018: USA (ausgesetzt)

Women's March weiter
2017: Korea

2017: Korea

Organisationskomitee der Kerzenbürger-Demonstrationen

weiter
2016: Kolumbien

2016: Kolumbien

La Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres weiter
2015: Israel

2015: Israel

Ilan Sadeh, Bürgermeister des Menashe Regional Councils und Hasan Atamna, Bürgermeister von Kafr Qara weiter
2014: Mogadischu/ Somalia

2014: Mogadischu/ Somalia

Fartuun Adan, Direktorin des Elman Peace and Human Rights Center weiter
2013: Griechenland

2013: Griechenland

Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE) weiter
2012: Pakistan

2012: Pakistan

Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) weiter
2011: Ägypten

2011: Ägypten

Slim Amamou, Tunesien und Khaled Said (1982-2010) weiter
2010: Mexiko

2010: Mexiko

Marcelina Bautista Bautista weiter
2009: Kapstadt / Südafrika

2009: Kapstadt / Südafrika

TAC - Treatment Action Campaign weiter
2008: Weißrussland

2008: Weißrussland

Zhanna Litvina weiter
2007: Kasachstan

2007: Kasachstan

Dr. Jevgenij Zhovtis weiter
2006: Thailand

2006: Thailand

Somsak Kosaisook weiter
2005: Chile/Peru

2005: Chile/Peru

Wahrheitskommissionen von Chile und Peru – Anwälte der Menschenrechte weiter
2004: Sudan

2004: Sudan

Abel Alier und Mahgoub Mohamed Salih weiter
2003: Ruanda

2003: Ruanda

Internationale Tribunal für Ruanda (ICTR)

weiter
2002: Israel

2002: Israel

Israelisch-palästinensische Koalition für den Frieden

weiter
2001: Serbien

2001: Serbien

Serbische Widerstandsbewegung OTPOR

weiter
2000: Russland

2000: Russland

Verband der Komitees der Soldatenmütter Russlands

weiter
1999: Indien

1999: Indien

Kailash Satyarthi

weiter
1998: Algerien

1998: Algerien

Omar Belhouchet

weiter
1997: Bosnien und Herzegowina

1997: Bosnien und Herzegowina

Pater Petar Andjelovic OFM

weiter
1996: Nigeria

1996: Nigeria

Olusegun Obasanjo

weiter
1995: Polen

1995: Polen

Professor Ewa Letowska

weiter
1994: Deutschland

1994: Deutschland

Marie-Schlei-Verein e.V.

weiter
2019: Honduras

2019: Honduras

Miriam Miranda weiter

About the Human Rights Award

The Human Rights Award of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung was awarded for the first time in 1994 and dates back to the Hamburg couple Karl and Ida Feist. The founders had stipulated in their will that the Foundation should administer their legacy and award a Human Rights Award annually. This prize is to be awarded to individuals or organizations who have rendered outstanding services to human rights in various parts of the world.

Karl and Ida Feist were active in the labor movement for many years. Their own bitter experiences with war and destruction led them to resolutely stand up for peace and non-violence.

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