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1991 Liberty Medal Recipients

"In the score of years they have functioned, Médecins Sans Frontières and its missions have ranged across over sites, from Peru in South America, to Cambodia in Southeast Asia. Their premise that human freedom and the human spirit are inseparable from the well being of the human body echoes the beliefs of the 200-year-old Bill of Rights by including in its charter a Bill of Duties and Responsibilities. We salute them for their outstanding contributions to human well-being."
Liberty Medal International Selection Commission


"Oscar Arias Sanchez is the most persuasive advocate in all of Latin America for peace, for democracy and for development...He is an heir to Simon Bolivar and Bolivar’s predecessors, and a vital contributor to that heritage of liberty. He has a secure place in that pantheon of heroes and visionaries who gave, and give, of their minds, their spirits and sometimes their very lives in the pursuit of liberty."
Liberty Medal International Selection Commission



"We are sometimes called the ‘French Doctors,’ which is rather unfair to our sister organizations in Europe created during the past ten years…We all share a common bill of rights and duties, and we all base our activities on the philosophical assumption that the sufferings of human beings, wherever they appear, can be considered neither as a ‘foreign’ preoccupation, nor as a state property. Clearly this means we have a moral duty to react to these sufferings, in one way or another, and that this reaction cannot, and should not, be stopped by national borders." ...more

Dr. Rony Brauman
President, Médecins Sans Frontières

Liberty Medal acceptance speech, July 4, 1991


"We call for a new era of peace and democracy, and we call for freedom – not just freedom of expression or the freedom of election – but freedom from want, sickness and deprivation. These same principles united, in different circumstances and different moments, George Washington, Simon Bolivar, Thomas Jefferson, San Martin, Benjamin Franklin, Jose Marti, Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juarez. Now let them unite in this new challenge that awaits." ...more

Dr. Oscar Arias
Liberty Medal acceptance speech, July 4, 1991