OBSERVARE Prize Individual 2014

Professor Mariano Aguirre

The group of researchers of OBSERVARE unanimously decided to award the OBSERVARE prize to Mariano Aguirre at the Second International Conference “World War II and International Relations (100 years after 1914)”. The purpose of the prize is to pay tribute to individuals or organizations that have stood out due to intellectual creativity or relevant practice in their contribution to the understanding of international realities, solidarity among peoples and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

The personal journey of Mariano Aguirre denotes great consistency, with his persistent commitment to peace between human communities and to the pacification of international conflict figuring prominently. Originally from Argentina, he has lived most of his life in Spain, although his work has taken him to other places, from New York to Oslo. This cosmopolitan experience has been put to the service of the values of peace and solidarity. He was the director of CIP – Centro de Investigación para la Paz – in Madrid for several years, where he later coordinated the Peace, Security and Human Rights programme of FRIDE – Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior. Previously, he was Associate Director of the Transnational Institute (Madrid and Amsterdam) and, between 2003 and 2005, he was officer of the Peace and Security Programme at the Ford Foundation in New York. He has been the director of the prestigious NOREF – Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre, in Oslo, since 2009. This is a foundation that brings together specialist studies and policy making instruments within Norwegian diplomacy, and whose global contribution in improving knowledge and practice towards the prevention and resolution of violent conflicts is widely acknowledged.

The committed views of Mariano Aguirre have remarkable impact in the spoken and written international press, including OpenDemocracy, Le Monde Diplomatique, El País, Política Exterior, BBC World Service, Publico and Radio France International. His numerous writings – books, essays, reports, articles – are valuable conceptual and operational assets.

His university activity has grown considerably in Spain and also in Portugal at Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, where he is Visiting Professor. He has collaborated regularly in the Janus yearbook for many years and has honoured the initiatives of the OSERVARE research unit with valuable support and constant solidarity.

The OBSERVARE prize is the due recognition of an inspiring example of decades of dedication to the fundamental causes of our time. Awarding it to Mariano Aguirre attests our belief that the configuration of the international framework setting is also shaped by individual actions and that real people can be the builders of new societies.

Lisbon, 2 July 2014

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