Czech envoy receives top diplomat prize
Published : Jul 10, 2011 - 17:58
Updated : Jul 10, 2011 - 17:58
Czech Republic Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa Jr. is awarded the 2011 Palmer Prize for Diplomats. (Czech Embassy)

Czech Republic Ambassador to Korea Jaroslav Olsa Jr. was awarded the 2011 Palmer Prize for Diplomats for his contribution to the advancement of democracy in Zimbabwe at the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies in Vilnius, Lithuania.

During his six-year term in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Olsa advocated for free and fair elections during the 2002 presidential and 2000 and 2005 parliamentary elections.

Throughout the election periods, Olsa did his best to ensure that a true record of what he observed reached local and other observer missions and the international community.

He also wrote several works concerning the situation in the southern African nation through his articles and books.

Olsa also worked with civil society and explored various ways in which he could support the Zimbabwean people’s struggle for democracy, including supporting the independent art scene by organizing art exhibitions, supporting literary life as well as theater performances.

The ambassador was described by the Palmer Prize committee as instrumental in the establishment of Zimbabwean cultural presentations that showcase political and social commentary in Zimbabwe in the Czech Republic.

The award is aimed at recognizing diplomats who have made significant contributions to the advancement of democracy in their countries of assignment.

The award was announced last year during the 10-year celebration since the creation of the Community of Democracies, an intergovernmental organization of democratic and democratizing countries with a commitment to strengthening and deepening democratic norms and practices worldwide.