US diplomat Dr Richard Nathan Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003, is to receive the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award. This award will be presented to Dr Haass by the Tipperary Peace Convention later this year.
Dr Haass recently chaired talks here in Northern Ireland on the issues of flags, parades and the legacy of northern Ireland troubles.
Although the talks broke down on New Year’s Eve without an agreement, it is acknowledged that considerable progress was achieved particularly on issues dealing with northern Ireland’s past.
In a statement, organisers of the award stated it had acknowledged “the great work undertaken by Dr Haass in the talks process, which has laid the foundations and created an environment for a more peaceful and prosperous future.”
Responding to news of his award, Dr Haass stated that he viewed the award as, quote; “a tribute to the many people across Northern Ireland who have done so much to promote genuine reconciliation.”
Dr Haass went on to say; “I have been fortunate to meet and work with numerous people dedicated to Northern Ireland’s future, and am gratified to be recognised alongside such individuals as Bill Clinton, George Mitchell, Mary and Martin McAleese, Robin Eames, and the others who have dedicated themselves to the cause of peace in Northern Ireland and beyond.”
Past recipients of this peace award include former South African president Nelson Mandela, Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof, wounded Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai and Afghan human rights activist, Dr Sima Samar.