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Iraq Peace Prize

Former UN Co-Ordinator in Iraq Count Hans von Sponeck has been awarded the
Coventry International Peace and Reconcilliation Award, which is presented
annually by the Cathederal and City of Coventry.

The Award, which will be presented on November 14th - the 60th anniversary
of the bombing of the Cathederal - and consists of a manque of the statue of
Reconcilliation by sculptress Josephina de Vasconcellos and a certificate
endorsed by the Bishop of Coventry, the Mayor and the Dean of the
Cathederal. The bombing of Coventry, twinned with Dresden in Germany, gave
birth 'to a unique dedication to the work of peace and rconcilliation.'

The award to Count von Sponeck is poignantly apt. His father stood up
against Hitler and was shot by him week before Hans was born.  Von Sponeck,
like his predecessor Denis Halliday put compassion and integrity before the
might of the UN and resigned his post in Iraq on the basis that the embargo
was 'inhumane and responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of
innocent people.'

This Award and the fact that Halliday and Kathy Kelly of Voices in the
Wilderness were nominated for the Nobel Prize are not alone deserving but a
tangible indication of the enormity of the destruction caused by not alone
sanctions, but lack of dialogue. These are three people whose determination
to make contact at all levels and to build bridges of reconcilliation are a
gentle rebuke to rhetoric and mindset. The Coventry Award is an inestimable
endorsement of the campaigns against sanctions. Warmest congratulations to
Count von Sponeck.
Details of Award Ceremony: (+44) (0)24-7622 7597

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