13 October 2011 The Borderless People at the Villa Decius
How to help those living in exile? How to support people and organisations fighting for the observance of human rights? These are the discussion topics of the Borderless People International Conference that will take place at the Villa Decius on the 13th and 14th of October (Thursday and Friday). The special events of the conference include the ceremony awarding the Polish Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize (named after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), and the signing of the agreement between the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) and the City of Krakow.
The Borderless People International Conference is a joint initiative of the Villa Decius Association in Krakow and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Poland. At the same time, it is a continuation of a series of prestigious conferences on the idea of freedom organised by the Association since 2005.
Experts invited by the organisers will attempt to analyse the political and cultural contexts of conflicts and potential legal actions to protect human dignity and human rights in the most dramatic and extreme situations. Conference participants will look for answers to the fundamental questions: How to help those living in exile? How to support people and organisations fighting for the observance of human rights? What are the obligations of European institutions and the Council of Europe in this respect and what actions and initiatives can be taken by national and local authorities?
The conference programme includes lectures, presentations and analyses by international experts, as well as debates and discussion sessions open to representatives of academia, politics, culture, NGOs, public administration and the media.
The conference is accompanied two by special events: the ceremony awarding the Polish Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize (in 2002–2003, de Mello was the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), which is given to individuals and NGOs for their actions for peaceful coexistence and cooperation between societies, religions and cultures. On the 13th of October (Thursday), at 11.30am, the Honorary Prize will be awarded to Bernard Kouchner, while at 3pm, awards in the following categories will be given: Person (Hassan Omar Hassani) and NGO (the Krakow Halina Nieć Legal Assistance Centre).
The other special event is the ceremonial signing of the agreement between the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) and the City of Krakow, which will take place on Friday (14th October), at 2pm. The ceremony will be attended by Magdalena Sroka – Deputy Mayor of the City of Krakow for Culture and City Promotion and Helge Lunde – ICORN Executive Director.
The decision on Krakow acceding to the ICORN was made in May this year by the Krakow City Council. ICORN protects outstanding intellectualists by means of the ‘writer in residence’ programme implemented in ICORN cities. The organisation also facilitates contacts and cooperation between particular ICORN cities, directors of festivals and writers by means of close collaboration with the European Union and the international PEN Club.
More information on the conference is available at www.villa.org.pl.