The award is presented jointly by the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations (UU@UN) and the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) to this Canadian Unitarian Universalist, who has made a significant contribution to international social justice. Created to honor Elaine Harvey, this award recognizes her committment to international peace and justice as she worked throughout the years 1998 to 2003 to advance UU principles in the forming of the International Criminal Court.
Congratulations to the 2016 recipient of the Elaine Harvey International Justice Award: Eryl Court!
To honor her dedication and longstanding service to support the UN and worldwide peace efforts, the CUC and the UU@UN chose to present this award to Eryl Cout. Eryl is a member of the UU@UN Envoy Team at First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, ON. Ever since an early age, she has spent her life devoted to the peace on earth. Born in London, England, she developed a lifelong interest in world affairs. Eryl received a BA in International Relations at the University of Wisconsin, where she studied the League of Nations and subsequently the United Nations. After university, Eryl worked for a short time as a social worker, but felt she was providing only ‘band aid fixes’ to some gigantic problems. She became determined to get to the source and returned to her studies at the University of Toronto, where she received an MA in Political Science….and so began her commitment to a "World in One Peace." During Eryl’s remarkable career in activism, she has traveled globally to attend peace conferences, worked with authors, founders of peace organizations, leaders, Nobel Peace Prize winners and more. Eryl has worked passionately for many organizations to include: Voice of Women for Peace (VOW), The Canadian Unitarian Council, The Canadian Peace Research Association, Science for Peace, Hiroshima Day Coalition, Toronto Peace Council, Canadian Peace Congress, Canadian Peace Alliance, Toronto Disarmament Network, and of course the UU Office at the United Nations. Eryl was instrumental in the formation of the The Social Workers’ Peace Association.
The Elaine Harvey International Justice Award was presented to Eryl Court on April 7, 2016 at the UU@UN's Intergenerational Spring Seminar in New York City.
About the Award
Elaine Harvey was appointed by the UUA and the CUC to be their main representative in this task. Elaine was a member of the NGO Coalition for an International Criminal Court (CICC); a member of four Caucuses: Faith-Based, Women's, Victims', and Children's; and a member of the Steering Committee on Children and Justice. Elaine attended all ICC Preparatory Sessions (in New York), the Diplomatic Conference (in Rome), and an Intersessional (in Siracusa, Sicily). She was asked to and did represent the Women's Caucus at the Holy See to negotiate with the Holy See for the inclusion of "Forced Pregnancy" as a crime... We can all wonder at what was said between this astute Unitarian with her determined sight to the future and the steely-reserved Holy See with their determined vows to the past!
The Elaine Harvey International Justice Award was inaugurated and presented on May 17, 2015 to M. Elaine Harvey at the CUC's Annual Conference and Meeting in Ottawa, ON. The clear, blue-tinged acrylic Award is inscribed as follows:
International Justice Award
To honour M. Elaine Harvey's achievements
contributing to the establishment of
the International Criminal Court
in advancement of Unitarian Universalist Principles
at the United Nations.
Presented by the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and
the Canadian Unitarian Council.
Upon receiving this award, Elaine Harvey responded with the following:
I am deeply honoured that you have named this award after me and I am truly grateful. I feel that it is to you that I should be giving thanks for providing the opportunity to be involved so profoundly with two keen interests that I hold dear - my faith and my interest in justice and the law.
I have a deep sense of gratitude to all the Unitarians who have supported me in the work I have done in representing you at the United Nations. In particular I would like to mention John Washburn, my mentor, who finally confinced me that I had what is needed to undertake this assignment, Rev. Fran Mercer who opened her home to me when I was attending UN session in New York, to the UUA and CUC who, for six years, accepted me as their representative at the sessions establishing the International Criminal Court, to Bruce Knotts and Vyda Ng whose positive reassurances continue to provide support, and finally the opportunity to act as co-chair of the CUC UN Advisory Committee which is now in the capable hands of Tui Torrie.
You have given me the most challenging and profound experience of my life to have been involved in the establishment of the International Criminal Court and to have represented Unitarians in doing so. In this conference focused on Seeking Justice in a Changing World, let us keep in mind our Principles, as I have done in representing you at the United Nations: in particular:
The inherent worth and dignity of every person - whether they be perpetrator or victim.
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations - no matter how one identifies one's self regarding sexual orientation, physical or mental limitations, showing understanding and compassion.
Let us all share The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
With profound appreciation!