Fashola, Tunisian President, others win International Crisis Group’s 2015 awards

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola. Photo credit: Sun Newspaper

The global conflict prevention organization, International Crisis Group (ICG), has named the outgoing governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, as one of seven outstanding personalities worldwide to be honoured with its annual awards for 2015.

The Brussels-based think tank, in a media release Thursday, says Mr. Fashola is being conferred with the Stephen J. Solarz Award “for his commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments.”

Other awardees include Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, who is being recognized for “his visionary reshaping of private sector initiatives to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development” and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, who was chosen for her “exemplary efforts to prevent conflict and mass atrocities, alleviate suffering during the Balkan crisis, and protect refugees worldwide.”

Two Tunisians, President Béji Caïd Essebsi and Nahdha Party leader, Rached Ghannouchi, were both chosen for their “unwavering dedication to pluralism, inclusion and compromise during Tunisia’s democratic transition.”

Others to be honoured are the former Italian foreign minister Emma Bonino for her “tireless role in deescalating tensions and promoting peace” in several countries, and former Australian foreign minister, Gareth Evans, who passionately promoted the principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and also headed the International Crisis Group as its pioneer president.

Announcing this year’s awards at the ICG’s headquarters in Brussels, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the organization’s president, said: “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 mobilized others in the name of justice”.

The 2015 awards will be presented at a gala in New York on October 26, marking the 20th anniversary of the International Crisis Group.

Previous recipients of the group’s annual awards have included former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; the Somali peace and democracy activist, Shukri Ismail; and the Afghan women and human rights advocate, Sima Samar.

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