Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan named winner of Bertelsmann Foundation’s Reinhard Mohn Prize for 2013. In awarding Kofi Annan the Reinhard Mohn Prize, Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation honors his outstanding dedication and contribution to sustainable development. Many of the growing number of political, corporate and social initiatives around the world promoting sustainability and inter-generational justice at all levels of governance have emerged directly from programs and institutions initiated and developed by Kofi Annan while serving as U.N. Secretary-General.
The Bertelsmann Foundation cites Mr. Annan’s achievements as U.N. Secretary-General in securing the active involvement of global stakeholders from all sectors in the international policy process. By bringing together actors from public agencies, civil society and the business sector in formulating policy initiatives, he helped revitalize the United Nations while creating an environment in which all actors see themselves as part of a larger global effort to advance sustainable development and human progress. The political momentum generated by the Millennium Development Goals, a framework he initiated, continues as the global community prepares to advance sustainability worldwide in a post-2015 development framework.
The Bertelsmann Foundation also pays tribute to the Global Compact initiative, introduced by Mr. Annan during his tenure as U.N. Secretary-General as a practical framework for businesses in partnering with the United Nations to work toward an inclusive and sustainable global economy. This framework has become the world’s largest platform through which corporate social responsibility is promoted.
Since leaving the United Nations, Kofi Annan has continued to promote sustainable development through his work with organizations such as the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Africa Progress Panel. Mr. Annan’s persistent advocacy for food security in an era of climate change, for democracy and the rule of law, and for tackling tax avoidance and resource exploitation is exemplary.
In announcing this year’s prizewinner, Vice-Chair of the Bertelsmann Foundation Liz Mohn stated: “As a tireless champion of sustainable development everywhere, Mr. Annan is the most respected voice on the subject worldwide.”
The Reinhard Mohn Prize honors the memory of the Bertelsmann Foundation’s founder, Reinhard Mohn (*Oct 2009). The prize is granted biennially to celebrate innovative ideas in addressing pressing social and political challenges and this year’s prize focuses on the search for “Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future”. The award will be presented to Mr. Annan at an awards ceremony in Gütersloh, Germany on November 7, 2013. The Reinhard Mohn prize carries a EUR200,000 award.