Former OAS head to receive Notre Dame Prize at Kellogg 25th anniversary

Author: Elizabeth Rankin


César Gaviria Trujillo, former president of Colombia and secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), is the 2008 recipient of the Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America.

Awarded by the University of Notre Dames Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the prize will be presented Sept. 19 (Friday) in a ceremony on campus that will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Kellogg Institute, one of the nations premier centers for the study of Latin America.

The Notre Dame Prize carries a cash prize of $15,000. Another $15,000 is given to a Latin American charitable organization designated by the laureate. Gaviria has selected Fundación Colombia Presente to be the recipient of the matching prize. A Colombian non-governmental organization, the foundation promotes social responsibility and tolerance among citizens at every level of Colombian society and encourages citizen participation to address social inequities.

Gaviria will be honored for his staunch advocacy of democracy and human rights in Latin America during almost 40 years of public service.

The Kellogg Institute is tremendously excited to present the eighth Notre Dame Prize to César Gaviria,said Ted Beatty, interim director of the institute.The timing of this years award could not be better. The institute has established a pre-eminent international reputation in the study of democratization and democratic process in Latin America, which we are celebrating by hosting a scholarly conference on the origins of democracy in the Americas.

While Kellogg has spent a quarter century studying democracy, Gaviria has spent a career living out the hard, daily work of creating, sustaining and deepening democracy in practice.

In two terms as secretary general of the OAS from 1994 to 2004, Gaviria used his considerable skills as statesman and mediator to reinvigorate the inter-American agenda, ease tensions across the region, and foster regional economic integration. Under his leadership, the OAS adopted the Inter-American Democratic Charter in 2001, establishing the regions unequivocal commitment to democracy and human rights.

The OAS is the regions principal multilateral forum for strengthening democracy, promoting human rights, confronting shared problems such as poverty, corruption, and illegal drugs, and it plays a key role in regional conflict resolution.

Elected president of Colombia in 1990 during a time of extreme political violence, Gaviria opened up the countrys political process with a new, more democratic constitution that strengthened human rights, the judiciary, government accountability and mechanisms of popular participation. In addition, he promoted the resolution of drug violence, the reintegration of armed rebels into civil society and significant economic growth.

Extending the 25th anniversary celebration and the democracy theme, a major academic conference titledThe Origins of Democracy in the Americas, 1770s-1870swill be held concurrently (Sept. 19 and 20). Organized by Kellogg faculty fellow J. Samuel Valenzuela and visiting fellow Eduardo Posada-Carbó of St. Antonys College, Oxford University, the conference will explore the historical roots of democracy in the western hemisphere.

Founded by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Notre Dames president emeritus, the Kellogg Institute brings comparative social science inquiry to bear on international issues relevant to contemporary society. The institutes approach to scholarship and teaching is grounded in an appreciation for the benefits that
democratization, economic development and organized civil society may bring to citizens around the world. Known for its expertise on Latin America, Kellogg has in recent years broadened its focus to Africa, Asia and beyond.

Established in 2000 by the Kellogg Institute and funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America is the only award of its kind to recognize the efforts of visionary leaders in business, religion, government or the media, as well as civic activists and intellectuals, to enhance the regions welfare.

Among the previous recipients are microfinance pioneer María Otero, president and CEO of ACCIÓN International; human rights activists Helen Mack Chang, president of the Myrna Mack Foundation; Sofía Macher of Perus Truth and Reconciliation Commission; three former or sitting presidents, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil and Patricio Aylwin Azócar of Chile; Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríquez Maradiaga, S.B.D., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and Enrique Iglesias, president of the Inter-American Development Bank.

_ Contact: Elizabeth Rankin, 574-631-9184,_ " " ; or Therese Hanlon, 574-631-4150, " " __


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