The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) awarded its 2018 European Medal of Tolerance to Prince Albert on Tuesday, March 6, for his commitment to truth, tolerance and historical reconciliation.
ECTR President Dr Moshe Kantor and ECTR Chairman former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair presented the medal to Prince Albert at the ECTR’s first roundtable held in Monte Carlo, from March 5 to 7, to address the threat of radicalisation and issues surrounding the challenges to tolerance in European societies.
On presenting the honour, Dr Kantor said, “The European Medal of Tolerance is awarded to you because of exceptional personal leadership and inspiration to advance truth, tolerance and historical reconciliation. You have found the courage and political wisdom to openly address painful history and difficult memories.”
In 2015, Prince Albert acknowledged Monaco’s rounding up and deportation of 66 Jews in 1942.
Dr Kantor added, “Your Highness’ gesture of supporting historical truth and unveiling a monument commemorating deported Jews in World War II has been such a liberating act of contrition, all the more impressive because it concerned not only among your own people, but also because of your own family’s political responsibilities for the course of events.”
Upon receiving the award Prince Albert said, “The promotion of international tolerance, reconciliation and education for which we must work are, in my view, of paramount importance in order to build a balanced world showing solidarity.
“I am particularly touched by the recognition that you are honouring me with and I would like to thank you very much. As Head of State, I will ensure that my actions continue to be worthy of the trust you have shown me today.”
The ECTR is an opinion-making and advisory body on international tolerance promotion, reconciliation and education, and fosters understanding and tolerance, educates towards reconciliation, facilitates post-conflict social apprehensions, monitors racism, antisemitism and xenophobia and proposes pro-tolerance initiatives and legal solutions.
Among its prominent members are Tony Blair, ECTR Board Chairman, Jose María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden, VairaVike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia and Rita Süssmuth, former Speaker of the German Bundestag. Founding member of the ECTR was the late Vaclav Havel, one of the principal leaders of the democratic transformation in Central Europe.