Award winners 2002

Carla Del Ponte

The winner of the 2002 Peace of Westphalia Prize, Carla Del Ponte, was born in Lugano on February 9, 1947. She studied law in Great Britain and Switzerland and set up a law and notary's office in 1975 before joining the Lugano Public Prosecutor's Office in 1981. Ms. Del Ponte became a public prosecutor in 1985. She became known beyond the borders of her home canton when she took up the fight against white-collar crime, drug and arms trafficking; she succeeded in dismantling a Sicilian mafia money laundering ring.

The Swiss government appointed Carla Del Ponte as Federal Prosecutor in 1993, making her the country's top criminal prosecutor. In August 1999, at the suggestion of Kofi Annan, she was appointed by the UN Security Council as the new Chief Prosecutor of the War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Carla Del Ponte attracts particular attention with her indictment of former Serbian President Milosevic.

For the first time in modern history, such a war crimes tribunal and the independent Office of the Chief Prosecutor have been established with a large majority of sovereign states, because peacekeeping is only possible on the basis of truth and justice and perpetrators must not go unpunished under the protection of national sovereignty. Violations of international humanitarian law should not remain without consequences, but should be punished. Criminal guilt is related to specific individuals and the theory of collective guilt is refuted.

The current holder of the office, Carla Del Ponte, is honored not only as an institution and symbol against inhuman and criminal state despotism, but also as a person of integrity and courage. Ms. Del Ponte's work against all internal and external opposition as Chair of the independent prosecuting body of the UN War Crimes Tribunal is a "gift of hope for peace for future generations". Even if terms such as "Chief Prosecutor" and "Chair of the Prosecution" on the one hand and "Peace Prize Laureate" on the other are not necessarily compatible at first glance, special consideration was given to the fact that Carla Del Ponte also sees herself as the "voice of the victims" when making the nomination.

Pupils Helping Life

The winner of the 2002 Peace of Westphalia Youth Prize is the organization "Pupils Helping Life", which has been contributing to peace and reconciliation through youth projects in the Balkans since 1992. The initiative began in Bad Kreuznach and was continued in Rhineland-Palatinate, then increasingly in Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Hamburg.

The first test of the aid work was the support of schoolchildren in the refugee camps in Croatia. The young Germans raised teaching and learning materials through their own collections and by giving up their own pocket money. In Sarajevo and Mostar, they rebuilt or repaired schools and kindergartens under wartime conditions. In Sarajevo, they have set up their own youth meeting center, which has become a meeting place for young Bosnians, Croats and Serbs. In Schleswig-Holstein alone, "Schüler Helfen Leben" raised 767,000 euros in one day with 35,000 pupils.

In the summer of 2000, 100,000 German schoolchildren from Schleswig-Holstein, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hamburg raised more than 2.15 million euros for peace work in the Balkans through voluntary work. The campaign will take place again this year on June 18 under the motto "Work instead of lessons".