Fred Cuny Award goes to Emma Bonino

The Italian stateswoman Emma Bonino received the Fred Cuny Award for the Prevention of Deadly Conflict

Ms. Bonino was one of seven outstanding leaders being recognized by Crisis Group at its annual awards dinner, In Pursuit of Peace, on 26 October in New York.

This year’s dinner marked the 20th anniversary of Crisis Group’s mission to prevent and resolve deadly conflict worldwide. Ms. Bonino’s prize was presented by the philanthropist George Soros, a member of Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees.

Ms. Bonino has been an unflagging advocate for humanitarian and political action in crises. As European commissioner for humanitarian aid during the 1990s, Ms. Bonino fought to draw international attention to crises in the African Great Lakes Region and the Balkans.

She later founded the campaign group No Peace Without Justice and was a driving force behind the creation of a special court to try crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. Ms. Bonino is also a pioneer in promoting women’s rights. She joined Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees in 2008. An active member of Italy’s Transnational Radical Party, she served as Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from April 2013 to February 2014. 

Other award winners this year included Sir Richard Branson, Béji Caïd Essebsi, Rached Ghannouchi, Gareth Evans, Babatunde Fashola, and Sadako Ogata. 
Ms. Bonino met with members of the press on 27 October at 11 a.m. at the Consulate General of Italy in New York, 690 Park Avenue.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) is a transnational non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1995 that carries out field research on violent conflict and advances policies to prevent, mitigate or resolve conflict. It advocates policies directly with governments, multilateral organisations and other political actors as well as the media.

The ICG was founded after a chance meeting in January 1993 between Morton I. Abramowitz former US diplomat and then-President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Mark Malloch Brown, then future World Bank Vice-President on a flight to Sarajevo. 

The international community’s difficulty in responding to the Bosnian War provided the catalyst for an independent organisation that would serve as the world’s eyes and ears on the ground in countries in conflict while pressing for immediate action. George Soros was involved in discussions early on and provided seed money. Disaster relief specialist Fred Cuny made significant contributions to disaster relief in Bosnia, and was brought on board later that year, though participation was cut short by his death in 1995 in Chechnya.