Former Polish President Lech Walesa has been awarded a gilded pigeon statuette, funded on the 60th anniversary of adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. Lech Walesa received the award on account of his contributions to human rights issues. (12-MAY-08)
Prepared by Agnieszka Chmielecka/HRH Warsaw
Photo by Wikipedia
Walesa is the 14th recipient of the award. Others include Pope Benedict XVI, chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and the Dalai Lama. The award is passed on from one recipient to another. Walesa received it from Jerzy Buzek, former Polish Prime Minister, who got it in December 2007 from Hans-Gert Poettering – the President of the European Parliament. During the celebration Buzek commented: the award stands for cooperation between individuals, open-mindedness and freedom ideals. In a couple of weeks Walesa is going to pass on the award to Stanislaw Szuszkiewicz, who is a supporter of a democratic transition in Belarus and, according to Walesa, contributed substantially to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The gilded pigeon is a symbol of the struggle for observance of human rights and spreading tolerance.