Press Conference to Launch Joint Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation/UNCA Global Prize for Best Coverage of Climate Change Issues

18 June 2009

Press Conference to Launch Joint Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation/UNCA Global Prize for Best Coverage of Climate Change Issues

18 June 2009
Press Conference
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

PRESS CONFERENCE TO LAUNCH JOINT PRINCE ALBERT II OF MONACO FOUNDATION/UNCA

GLOBAL PRIZE FOR BEST COVERAGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES

Gilles Noghès, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the United Nations, announced today the launching of the €10,000 joint Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation/UNCA (United Nations Correspondents Association) Global Prize for the best coverage of climate change issues.

The Prize, the first in that field, would be awarded by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next 30 October, during the UNCA Gala Dinner, Mr. Noghès said at a Headquarters press conference.  Flanked by John B Kelly III, Chairman of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA, and UNCA President Giampaolo Pioli, he said the Foundation was “very happy” to add one more prize to the three that UNCA presented during its annual gala dinner in cooperation with the United Nations Foundation.

He said the new Prize would reward the best coverage in electronic and print media, adding that its creation in 2009 was very timely since the General Assembly would be holding a high-level meeting on climate change on 22 September, and the Copenhagen Conference was scheduled for December.

Giving the Foundation’s background, Mr. Kelly said Prince Albert had established it in 2006 and it had now grown to have chapters in many countries.  Its mission was tackling international and global problems, with a specific focus on climate change, biodiversity and drinking water.  With Prince Albert’s particular interest in the polar regions, the Foundation had recently been working with the Aspen Institute on a polar climate change dialogue, as well as with the United Nations Foundation on many other projects.

He said the Foundation was very excited about the new award, because it was at the nexus of two of the great developments expected to happen over the next decade.  The first was humankind’s response to the traumatic challenge of climate change, and the second was how that and related issues would be discussed and communicated in the public domain.  For the media, which were going through dramatic changes, how those issues were presented would be exciting.  “So we’re looking forward to trying to find the best presentations of this traumatic issue of climate change in this dynamic new world of the media.”

However, the key to success would be finding things that worked, getting the word out and having everyone, including correspondents and the media, work as one, because climate change problems must be addressed by everyone, he said.  “Solving one small problem is how we learn.  But then it has then to be communicated to the world.  So we look forward to this project and are very excited about supporting this Prize.”

Correspondents then viewed a brief short video presentation highlighting the Foundation’s activities since its inception as a permanent source of action to protect the environment and sustainable development by mobilizing people and resources on the international level for universal benefits.  Its efforts had focused on projects across the globe, particularly the polar regions, the Mediterranean Basin, Africa, South America and South-East Asia.  It focused on the three crucial areas of climate change and energy, preservation of biodiversity, and access to water and desertification.

Mr. Pioli, expressing hope that the new Prize was the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation between UNCA and the Prince Albert II Foundation, called on all media worldwide to submit their entries for the new award, as well as already established ones, in a timely manner.  There was no fee for submitting entries and the new award should serve as a further incentive to produce quality work.  The deadlines were 1 August for the older prizes and 31 August for the new award.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.