15th Nov, 2018

Peace award at RISING in Coventry for late Jo Cox MP and Syria humanitarians White Helmets

Coventry Editorial 14th Nov, 2016

THE late campaigning MP Jo Cox is to receive a posthumous award as part of Coventry’s second RISING Global Peace Forum this week.

The young MP was killed in the streets of her Yorkshire constituency in June after campaigning in Parliament and elsewhere on issues relating to the conflict in Syria and refugees.

Also receiving an aware at RISING 16 will be the volunteers of Syria Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets.

It partly honours work which has seen hundreds of Syrian migrants coming to Coventry.

The inaugural RISING Global Peace Prize has been created as part of the event at Coventry Cathedral and other venues which will have global security and migration top of the agenda. Starting tomorrow (November 15), the two-day event feature guests and speakers from political, faith, academic and all walks of life.

A spokesperson said: “We created the RISING Global Peace Prize because we wanted to create a moment of reflection where we could take stock of the many brave women and men around the world who make peace their mission.

“… The volunteers of Syria Civil Defence (aka The White Helmets) and the late Labour MP Jo Cox – who championed their heroism amongst so many other causes – are the perfect examples of people dedicated to peace.

“Jo Cox worked tirelessly to bring about a better world and is truly deserving of this award. Her legacy is the example she has set for humanitarians and politicians alike. Earlier this year, Jo referred to The White Helmets in her nomination letter to the Nobel Peace prize committee as “heroes” and said they offer a sense of hope in an otherwise desperate conflict.

“At RISING, we want to recognise their tireless, non-partisan work to help the victims of one of the worst conflicts of modern times.

“.. Being based in Coventry, the UK City of Peace and Reconciliation, it’s been impossible for us to think about the example of both The White Helmets and Jo Cox, without thinking of our own city. On 14 November 1940, the centre of Coventry was mostly reduced to rubble, and yet the city embarked on an immediate journey of peace and reconciliation, rising from the ashes.

“The White Helmets take incredible risks as they routinely pull people from the rubble amid constant attacks and, in reality, they have lived 14 November 1940 every day and every night for longer than the Second World War even lasted.

“Today, Coventry has proudly welcomed more Syrian refugees than any other part of the UK, including London. And that is in no small part thanks to the incredible campaigning efforts led by Jo Cox MP, who co-chaired the Friends of Syria group in parliament and forced the UK government to take in more Syrian refugees.”

Supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the RISING Global Peace Forum was founded in 2015 by a partnership between Coventry University, Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council.

For more, go to www.rising.org

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