Sigrid Kaag, a top Dutch diplomat working for the United Nations, will receive the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize 2016. The Carnegie Foundation, which owns and manages the Peace Palace, has awarded this peace prize to Ms. Kaag for her successful efforts in accomplishing sensitive and dangerous missions in the Middle-East.
From October 2013 until September 2014, Sigrid Kaag successfully led the OPCW-UN joint mission on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons. This unprecedented mission along with Ms. Kaag’s leadership, dedication and courage helped secure the peaceful removal and destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons.
Currently, Ms. Kaag serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon, where she oversees the work of the UN family in Lebanon as well as leads on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701, aiming to achieve a permanent ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel. Her engagement ranges from conflict prevention and diplomacy to strategic leadership on humanitarian, development and security issues.
Sigrid Kaag is a top diplomat and has a distinguished long-term record of service at the United Nations. The Board of the Carnegie Foundation lauds her dedication and personal approach. She is held in particularly high esteem for her ability to bring unity. Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Bernard Bot, commented her remarkable talent in bringing parties together and to consensus, adding that “Ms. Kaag doesn’t think in problems, but encourages parties to act”.
The Carnegie Wateler Peace is awarded by the Board of the Carnegie Foundation every two years to a person or an institution furthering the cause of international peace, “in whatever way, by word or deed in the form of international action, in literature, or the arts”. The Prize is named after Dutch banker Johan Wateler. A hundred years ago, Wateler followed up the example of Alfred Nobel and drew up a testament allocating capital for the establishment of a Peace Prize. The award consists of 35,000 EUR in prize money. The Peace Prize was awarded for the first time in 1931. Prizes in previous years have been awarded to UN diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi (2014) and War Child (2012).
The award will be presented to Sigrid Kaag by the chairman of the Carnegie Foundation on 16 November in the Great Hall of Justice of the Peace Palace in The Hague. On the same day the Carnegie Foundation and the Erasmus Centre for Strategic Philanthropy will hold a learning event on peace philanthropy at the Peace Palace to mark the 100-year anniversary of Wateler’s testament.
Images: UN Photo by M. Garten and UN Photo by Loey Felipe