Gariwo, the Garden of the Righteous Worldwide, is a Milan-based non-governmental organisation created in 2001 by Gabriele Nissim to honor those who fought and are still fighting against genocide, for human dignity and peace.
In 2003 Gariwo, following the example of the Garden of the Righteous in Jerusalem, created its first Garden of the Righteous at Monte Stella in Milan. Then, in 2012, it launched a call to the European Parliament for a Day of the Righteous, which is now celebrated every year on 6 March (PDF).
This year, the Association for the Garden of the Righteous announced that it would honour Dag Hammarskjöld as ‘an exemplary figure of civil courage’, alongside Nobel Peace Prize winner Carlo Urbani; human rights advocate Liu Xia; and US Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In its citation, Gariwo honoured Hammarskjöld as ‘an introverted diplomat for peace’ who increased the executive role of the UN Secretary-General in peace operations.
A hybrid ceremony was held on 5 March 2021 for the dedication of the plaques for the four honorees.
The ceremony was attended by the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala; the vice president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Giorgio Mortara; and the president of Gariwo, Gabriele Nissim. Carlo Urbani’s son, Luca Urbani, also attended the event.
The ceremony, live streamed on YouTube, also featured pre-recorded messages from honoree Liu Xia; the grandson of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Paul Spera; and the Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Henrik Hammargren.
The Gariwo website features profiles of hundreds of people it has honoured in its efforts to construct an educational memory that speaks to young people’s hearts and minds. A network of Gariwo gardens has also been established worldwide.
Watch Henrik Hammargren’s interview with Gariwo’s Joshua Evangelisto on YouTube (with translation into Italian) below.