Brussels The International Crisis Group is pleased to announce the honourees for its 2015 In Pursuit of Peace award dinner, which will launch the 20th anniversary year of the independent organisation’s mission to prevent and resolve deadly conflict worldwide.

At this milestone gala on 26 October 2015 in New York, Crisis Group will pay tribute to seven outstanding international campaigners for peace and justice.

  • Sir Richard Branson will receive the Chairman’s Award for inspiring leadership to advance the cause of peace. The founder of Virgin Group and co-founder of The Elders is recognised for his visionary reshaping of private sector initiatives to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development.
  • Béji Caïd Essebsi and Rached Ghannouchi will jointly receive the Founder’s Award for pioneers in peacebuilding. The president of Tunisia and leader of the Nahdha Party are chosen for their unwavering dedication to pluralism, inclusion and compromise during Tunisia’s democratic transition.
  • Babatunde Fashola will receive the Stephen J. Solarz Award for Commitment to Peace, Justice and Security, which will be presented by Crisis Group Board of Trustees Member Mo Ibrahim. The outgoing governor of Nigeria’s Lagos state is honoured for his dedication to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments.
  • Emma Bonino will receive the Fred Cuny Award for the Prevention of Deadly Conflict. The Italian stateswoman is selected for her tireless role in de-escalating tensions and protecting women’s rights throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa’s Great Lakes region and beyond.
  • Gareth Evans will receive the Founder’s Award for pioneers in conflict prevention. The former Australian foreign minister and former president of Crisis Group is honoured for his passionate commitment to preventing mass atrocities and his ground-breaking decade of leadership of the organisation.
  • Sadako Ogata will receive the President’s Award for exemplary efforts in preventing mass atrocities. The Japanese former UN High Commissioner for Refugees is chosen for her leadership in alleviating suffering and protecting the displaced worldwide.

“Each award goes to a pioneer of peace, to a relentless fighter for the improvement of people’s lives, to someone who has built bridges, believed in change and mobilised others in the name of justice”, said Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Crisis Group President & CEO. “It is with pride that Crisis Group, an organisation that has been on the front lines of conflict resolution for twenty years, honours these extraordinary personalities whose courage has opened paths to peace and empowerment in some of the most conflicted corners of the world”.

​​​​​​​Previous recipients of Crisis Group awards include the following honourees:

  • Chairman’s Award: former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Myanmar President U Thein Sein.
  • Founder’s Award: George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management, and Morton Abramowitz, Senior Fellow of the Century Foundation and Crisis Group co-founder.
  • Fred Cuny Award: former U.S. Presidents William J. Clinton and George H.W. Bush, who founded the “Clinton Bush Haiti Fund”, and to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
  • President’s Award: Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director Samina Ahmed, former Democratic Congressman Stephen J. Solarz and Paul Rusesabagina, founder of the “Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation”.
  • Stephen J. Solarz Award: Guatemala’s first women Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey, Tunisian journalist and human rights activist Sihem Bensedrine, Shukri Ismail, founder of “Candlelight for Environment, Education & Health” in Somalia, and Sima Samar, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights in Sudan.

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