MacArthur Selects Kofi Annan for International Justice Award

Dec 10, 2007, 00:00 ET from MacArthur Foundation

    CHICAGO, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The John D. and Catherine
 T. MacArthur Foundation will honor former United Nations Secretary General
 Kofi Annan with the first MacArthur Award for International Justice,
 Foundation President Jonathan Fanton announced today. The Award provides
 Annan with $100,000 for his own work and invites him to suggest an
 additional $500,000 to support an eligible non-profit working on
 international justice issues.
     "Kofi Annan's life work embodies the values of justice and human rights
 and the eternal hope for a humane, peaceful world that justice makes
 possible," said Fanton. "Under his leadership at the United Nations the
 International Criminal Court was established and the Responsibility to
 Protect became an accepted principle for international action in the face
 of human suffering. These building blocks of an effective international
 justice system will benefit the world for generations to come."
     The International Criminal Court, the world's "court of last resort,"
 prosecutes individuals accused of the most heinous crimes when governments
 fail to act. The Court's first cases address crimes in Darfur, the
 Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Northern Uganda. The new norm, "the
 Responsibility to Protect," requires the international community to protect
 civilians in harm's way when their own governments cannot or will not.
     Fanton also said the MacArthur Foundation will seek to raise the
 profile of international justice issues during 2008, its 30th anniversary
 year. He announced a series of symposia focused on international justice in
 New York City and at DePaul University, American University, University of
 California and Yale University. The New York discussion on March 20, 2008,
 will immediately precede an award ceremony where Annan will deliver keynote
     "Since our first grant to Amnesty International in 1978, the MacArthur
 Foundation has been committed to building a more just, sustainable, and
 peaceful world," said Fanton.
     Honoring the historical role the U.S. has played in advancing
 international justice, Fanton suggested the United States rethink its
 position on the court and urged Presidential candidates to state their
 position on the Court publicly.
     In selecting Annan for the award, the Foundation's Board cited his role
 in establishing the International Criminal Court. The Treaty of Rome, which
 established the court, was finalized during Annan's tenure at the UN. He
 later helped ensure the UN could refer matters to the Court. They also
 noted Annan's leadership in developing the Responsibility to Protect.

SOURCE MacArthur Foundation