Cooperation, restarting from diasporas to cultivate peace: the Paolo Dieci Award
The final event of the initiative promoted by Cisp, Link 2007 and Le Réseau Association will be held Nov. 30 in Rome.


On March 10, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 bound for Nairobi crashed to the ground after taking off from Addis Ababa. No one was saved. Among the 157 victims of more than 30 nationalities were eight Italians, almost all of whom were involved in cooperation. Among them was Paolo Dieci, founder of the Committee for the Development of Peoples (Cisp) and president of the NGO network Link2007. A life, his, dedicated to development cooperation in areas plagued by crisis and extreme poverty. With a special predilection for sub-Saharan Africa and Ethiopia, a country he loved and knew well.

The idea of remembering his figure, but more importantly, of carrying forward his work and ideas, came to fruition two years ago with the birth of the Paul Dieci Award, sponsored by promoted by Cisp, Link 2007 and Le Réseau Association. The goal of the initiative is to reaffirm a principle: cooperation makes sense if it becomes an instrument of peace and fosters mutual understanding. One of the fastest ways to do this is to involve the diasporas living in our country. Indeed, it was Dieci’s conviction that the universe of migrant associations scattered throughout our territory should be discovered and enhanced, in order to achieve a synthesis of visions that do not always coincide and to be able to work together. It is no coincidence that the importance of diasporas is also stressed in a chapter of Law 125 on cooperation that has so far remained on paper.

For these reasons, the award is aimed at Italian civil society organizations active in international cooperation and all entities that involve diasporas and new generations in equal partnership projects for development or global citizenship education. The deadline for submitting applications expired on November 5. It will be up to the jury to choose the best partnership that will be awarded at the final event scheduled for Nov. 30 in Rome at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Decisive elements in winning the award are the ability to work together by sharing values and goals in the fields of development, human rights, sustainability, and economic and social justice.

The response from the associations has been positive: 19 questions arrived on the jury’s table in this second edition. A good result, also considering that diasporas is still a topic for specialists. At a time in history when ideological oppositions prevail, leaving little room for reflection, initiatives like this one try to resist the powerful current that fuels tensions and conflicts. As, moreover, one of the associations promoting the prize, Link2007, has already attempted to do in recent months, presenting in March and September two articulate documents asking the government to open a constructive discussion table on migration.

The Paolo Dieci Award counts on the collaboration of Aoi, Cini and Forum del Terzo Settore and the sponsorships of Maeci, Oim, Aics, Rai Per la Sostenibilità and the Municipality of Rome. The initiative is supported by Charlemagne Foundation, Banca Etica and Cariplo Foundation.

The article was published in Letter22