BEIRUT: U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag will be awarded the 2016 Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize for her efforts leading risky missions within the region, the organization said Monday. “She’s proven to be a natural bridge-builder between different parties, and that’s something we feel characterizes the Dutch [people] in general,” Dutch Ambassador Hester Somsen told The Daily Star of her fellow countrywoman.
The Board of the Carnegie Foundation awards the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize every two years for individuals and organizations championing the cause for international peace. Past prizewinners include UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, Spanish politician Javier Solana, and the NGO War Child.
The award comes in recognition of Kaag’s role in leading the 2013 Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-U.N. joint mission to eliminate Syrian chemical arms.
“This unprecedented mission, along with Kaag’s leadership, dedication, and courage, helped secure the peaceful removal and destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons,” read a statement by the Dutch Peace Palace, the Hague-based home of the International Criminal Court which is owned by the Carnegie Foundation.
Kaag’s role in the OPCW-U.N. joint mission placed her at the center of the Middle Eastern diplomatic arena. Currently the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, she coordinates the work of the numerous U.N. agencies in the country.
This is of particular focus since the start of the Syria crisis as Lebanon officially hosts some 1.1 million refugees from the country.
As part of her work, she also oversees Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 summer war and the mandate of UNIFIL peacekeepers in south Lebanon.
The 35,000 euro prize will be awarded at a ceremony in The Hague on Nov. 16.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 07, 2016, on page 2.