University of St. Gallen honours former APT President

Monday, May 18, 2009

On 16 May the prestigious Swiss University of St.Gallen paid tribute to APT's former president, Marco Mona, for his long-standing engagement in the prevention of torture on the regional, national and international level. The university awarded Dr. Mona (APT President from 1990 to 2006) with an honorary doctorate of political economics.


The university's vice president, Prof. Dr. iur. Bernhard Ehrenzeller, said that "Dr. Dr. rer. publ. h.c. Marco Mona has made a signification contribution to a better integration of human rights in international relations and national legal systems". He recognized in particular Dr. Mona's committment to human rights on a practical level and highlighted "his engagement in obtaining justice through the development of practical instruments".

"I feel deeply honored and I am very pleased that our struggle for the prevention of torture has now received this acknowledgement and recognition from such a prestigious research and teaching institution. This award encourages me to continue the struggle" Marco Mona said. "What I would like to achieve is that my grand-children can be proud one day, when - after some setbacks - the situation of human rights in the world has improved a little bit". He stressed that a lot remains to be done, from closing Guantanamo to changing the unconstitutional refugee and foreigner laws in Switzerland. In his speech he stressed that what he has achieved was the fruit of the engagement of many persons, and thanked his family, the partners in his law firm, the APT and the University of St.Gallen.

The vice president of the University and Marco Mona both recalled the historical link between the University of St.Gallen and the APT, evoking the so-called "St.Gallen Group", formed around the former President of the University and his wife, Adolf and Martita Jöhr-Rohr, who had provided crucial support to the APT since the 1970s. This award ties in with, and will hopefully revive, this historical link between St.Gallen and Geneva.

University of St. Gallen Press Release

Web article - Radio suisse italienne

Video coverage - (20h00 edition, RealPlayer, at 15:07 minutes)


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