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Home / Awards / Path to Peace Award / 2001


2001 - His Serene Highness Prince Hans-Adam II

His Serene Highness, Prince Hans-Adam II was born on 14 February 1945, the eldest son of His Serene Highness Prince Franz Joseph II von und zu Liechtenstein and Her Serene Highness Princess Gina.

Like his father before him, Prince Hans-Adam completed his primary education at the Schotten gymnasium in Vienna. He then finished his secondary education at Zuoz, in the Grisons, Switzerland, going on to study business and economics at St. Gallen College.

On 30 July 1967, Prince Hans-Adam married Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. The Prince and Princess have four children: Prince Alois, Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin, and Princess Tatjana.

Since he succeeded his father as Sovereign in 1989, Prince Hans-Adam II has made untiring efforts for the promotion of peace at all levels of society. With a world view grounded in respect for human rights and the dignity of the human person, the Prince has devoted much of his energy to the study and promotion of the peaceful self-determination of peoples.

In 1993, Prince Hans-Adam introduced a new Agenda Item to the General Assembly of the United Nations, entitled Effective Realization of the Right to Self-Determination Through Autonomy. In his historic address to the General Assembly on this item, His Serene Highness affirmed the critical element of preventive diplomacy. He said: “if only we could find means whereby such self-expression could be encouraged, the occasion for civil strife, with all its attendant dangers and suffering, could be much reduced and perhaps in some cases avoided altogether...And how much better it would be to put in place some suitable arrangements before tensions explode into conflict, rather than waiting until that has already happened and then try to pick up the pieces.”

Three years later, in May 1996, following the 1995visit of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the United Nations, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and the Path to Peace Foundation sponsored a Seminar at UN Headquarters, entitled The United Nations: A Family of Nations?, at which His Serene Highness delivered another address which revealed his personal efforts at assisting in the world-wide cause of the peace. At that Seminar, the Prince remarked: “What is to be done so that humanity breaks out of this violent circle of ideological and perhaps religious wars? The freedom of religion, the rule of law and democracy, have to become the foundations of human society if mankind wants to live in peace and prosperity.”

Prince Hans-Adam’s outstanding efforts on behalf of world peace have led, among other things, to the establishment of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, which was inaugurated in December 2000.

For his steadfast and zealous service to the human family, which has greatly contributed to the cause of peace in the world, His Serene Highness Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein is honored this day with the 2001 Path to Peace Award.