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It’s hard to forget this chapter of world history: in 1944 Normandy was the theatre of a fierce struggle for freedom, offering its beaches to the Allies. A trauma from which the region was able to recover: the scars of the battles now rub shoulders with world-famous remembrance sites and reconstructed cities, which remind us that peace and freedom are essential values.


Since 1945, these values have been expressed through collective memory work and several major events including the Bayeux Calvados Normandy Prize for war correspondents, or the no less famous international moot court competition at the Caen Memorial.


It is on this ambition that Normandy for Peace is based: an international initiative launched in 2017 by the Normandy Region, which organises or promotes major events across the region and around the world in the name of peace and freedom.

Normandie pour la Paix
© Leonie Hamard Region Normandie


Thanks to the engagement of numerous Norman and international partners – NGOs, local authorities, museums, educational communities, etc. – Normandy has established itself over time as a laboratory for enduring peace. Conferences, seminars, university exchanges, artistic creations… Whether they are mainstream, educational or more confidential, multiple projects and meetings illustrating the values of freedom, peace and reconciliation are thus labelled and supported by Normandy for Peace throughout the year.


Published for the first time in June 2019 on the occasion of the Normandy World Peace Forum organised by the Normandy Region, the Normandy Index was conceived by the research services of the European Parliament and developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This index makes it possible to measure yearly, on a scientific basis, conflicts on a world-wide scale.

Normandie pour la Paix


A true inspiration for future generations, the approach focuses on youth: high school students’ pleadings for human rights at the Caen Memorial, the University of Peace organised by the International Institute of Human Rights, which brings together some fifty international students around a dedicated theme, educational projects in high schools and training centres focusing on the memory of the victims of the Shoah and the Walk The Global Walk programme, which raises awareness of sustainable development goals from the UN. Initiatives aimed at middle school, high school and university students from Normandy’s five ‘départements’ take place every year.


The ‘Normandy for Peace’ Chair of Excellence was created in June 2019, in association with the Normandy Region, the National Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Caen. Conceived for an initial period of 4 years, the Chair brings together international and Norman academics. Its research is devoted to peace, the environment and the rights of future generations, particularly in the face of climate change.

Normandie pour la Paix
© Region Normandie


The Normandy World Peace Forum is the highlight of this initiative and has been held since 2018 ahead of the commemorations of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. A place of reflection, discussion and inspiration, the Forum attracts the general public, experts in geopolitics, Nobel Prize winners, government representatives, diplomats, academics, NGOs and associations, in order to build together lasting peace and anticipate the world of tomorrow. The Forum is structured around plenary conferences and thematic debates open to all, as well as cultural nights and a Village for Peace in which numerous exhibitions, events, activities and festivities take place.


It is also during this unique event that the Freedom Prize is awarded to the winner elected by the youth of the world. The idea is to invite young people aged 15 to 25, should they be Norman, French or international, to nominate each year a person or an organisation engaged in a fight for freedom. Young people from all over the world are involved throughout the process, from winning proposals submitted to the international jury, to the award ceremony, not forgetting online voting for one of the three finalists.


It’s the International Institute for Human Rights and Peace, based in Calvados, which is piloting the Freedom Prize. This association aims to contribute to the development of a culture of peace by promoting knowledge of human rights to all citizens.

Normandie pour la Paix
© Region Normandie


The third edition of the Normandy World Peace Forum, initially scheduled from 3 to 5 June 2020 ahead of the D-Day commemorations, was held on 1-2 October 2020. On this occasion, Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region and Barbara Hendricks, sponsor of the 2020 Freedom Prize, handed the Freedom Prize to the sisters of Loujain Al Hathloul, activist for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and 2020 laureate.


The 4th edition of the Forum will take place on 3-4 June 2021 at the Women’s Abbey in Caen. This theme of this new edition will be “World peace and global security: how to govern peace?”


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