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Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Receives MacArthur Award for International Justice
21 March 2008

The MacArthur Foundation honored former United Nations Secretary General Kofi A. Annan with the MacArthur Award for International Justice at a 1200-person dinner held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on March 20. In selecting Mr. Annan, the Foundation's Board cited his role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court and developing the principle of the Responsibility to Protect.

() In accepting the Award, Mr. Annan said," I am deeply honored to be the first recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award for International Justice. The Foundation has worked with governments, the UN and other actors of civil society to mobilize support for international justice. These efforts have helped to change our understanding of international law. Sovereignty should no longer be seen as a privilege but as a very heavy responsibility. Every State has to protect its people: it is only when States respect fundamental human rights and uphold the dignity and worth of each person, that sovereignty will be recognized by all as credible and legitimate." (...)

(...) "We celebrate a man who has given his life to making our world more just. We honor Kofi Annan, and through him, all those who have contributed to a world seeking to make good on the pledge 'never again,''' [said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton, who presented the Award.]

Mr. Annan is the first recipient of the MacArthur Award for International Justice (...)

(...) In selecting Mr. Annan, the Foundation's Board cited his role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. (...)

The Board also noted Mr. Annan's leadership in developing the principle of the Responsibility to Protect. In 1999/2000, he urged UN member states to resolve the conflict between the principles of state sovereignty and the international community's responsibility to respond to human rights violations and ethnic cleansing. Taking up the challenge, the government of Canada convened the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, whose report laid out the fundamentals of a new way to think about protection of civilians. Later, Mr. Annan's UN reform document, In Larger Freedom, recommended that governments endorse the Responsibility to Protect. The concept has since been endorsed through General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

The new Award provides Mr. Annan with $100,000 for his own work and invites him to suggest an additional $500,000 in support for an eligible non-profit organization working on international justice issues.

For its 30-year history, the MacArthur Foundation has been committed to advancing human rights and international justice. (...)

(...) MacArthur (...) provides support for activities that advance the international justice system, including the use and further development of human rights courts and tribunals, particularly the regional human rights courts and the International Criminal Court; the alignment of national laws with international human rights treaties; and the advancement of norms related to international justice, such as the Responsibility to Protect. (...)

Source of information:
http://www.macfound.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lkLXJ8MQKrH&b=1053853&content_id=%7B5D0EC24B-4D09-4E22-8DF2-3B6AA0347D6B%7D¬oc=1

Full text of Mr. Annan's remarks availbale at:
http://www.macfound.org

For Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's remarks at the MacArthur Foundation International Justice Award dinner, please refer to:
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sgsm11474.doc.htm
 

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