International Conference of Mayors “Unity in Diversity” Palermo and Fez awarded the Giorgio La Pira prize



Mayor Leoluca Orlando participated in the third edition of “Unity in Diversity”, the international conference of Mayors from over 40 lands. The conference took place yesterday in Florence and today in the Vatican. The main topic was the life of cities in the third millennium.
In this meeting, the mayors were “guided – as stated in the final document – by their common aspiration to peace, tolerance, justice and respect for the human rights of all.”

This edition focuses on intercultural and interreligious dialogue in the Mediterranean, on the 40th anniversary of the death of Giorgio La Pira.

The city of Palermo received the La Pira Prize, which the first citizen of Florence, Dario Nardella, handed over to the Mayor Leoluca Orlando for the contribution given to the dialogue between peoples and cultures.

It was also awarded the Moroccan city of Fez with pts mayor El Azami El Idrissi.

“For the city of Palermo,” said Nardella, “for its millenary history that makes it one of the most important and resilient capitals of the Mediterranean, for the recent impetus for technological innovation in services and for initiatives, including international ones as well, aimed at improving its security, such as Safer Cities, whose Mayor Leoluca Orlando became co-president in 2015, with responsibility for Europe and Africa. ”

Also “as the capital of the region that gave birth to mayor La Pira – added Nardella – and for the spirit of welcome and tolerance of the city.

Receiving the award, Orlando pointed out that “as Giorgio La Pira was considered heretic in his time, when in a cold war he lived and promoted a life without walls and barriers among the peoples, so Palermo, with his Charter centered the human person and his right to mobility has appeared heretical.A presumed heresy that is now brewing in culture, in hearing and in the work of mayors and directors, as evidenced by this award confirms our international and intercultural dimension . “

Giorgio La Pira was born in Sicily in 1904. He was a Roman Catholic politician who served as the Mayor of Florence twice (1950-1956 and 1960-1964). He also served as deputy of the Christian Democrats and participated in the assembly that wrote the Italian Constitution following World War II. In his public and private life he was a tireless champion of peace and human right who worked for the betterment of the poor and disenfranchised. La Pira belonged to the Third Order of Saint Dominic. He made several trips to the East, in Russia and China to bring a process for peace during the Cold War era.

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