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Press conference to launch joint Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation / UNCA prize for best coverage of climate change issues



Gilles Noghès, Permanent Representative of the Principality of Monaco to the United Nations, announced last June the launch of the joint Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation / UNCA (United Nations Correspondents Association) Prize.The 10,000 euro prize will be awarded for the best coverage of climate change issues.

During a Headquarters press conference, Mr Noghès said that the Prize, the first in that field, would be awarded by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UNCA Gala Dinner on 30th October.  Flanked by John B. Kelly III, Chairman of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA, and UNCA President Giampaolo Pioli, Mr Noghès 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 added that 2009 was very timely for the creation of this prize due to the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on climate change on 22nd September, and the Copenhagen Conference 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 concerns the fields of climate change, biodiversity and access to water.The Foundation, in cooperation with the Aspen Institute, has recently conducted studies on the Arctic and climate change with the support of the United Nations Foundation.

He said the Foundation was very excited about the new award in view of the challenges, in the short and medium term, of climate change and its consequences for humankind.
For the media, which are going through dramatic changes, how those issues are presented would be exciting.“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.“That is why we are very excited about supporting this prize.”

Correspondents then viewed a brief video presentation highlighting the Foundation’s activities since its inception.Its efforts are focused on projects across the globe, particularly the polar regions, the Mediterranean Basin and the least developed countries.It focuses on three crucial areas, namely climate change and the promotion of renewable energies; the preservation of biodiversity; and access to water and the fight against 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 those already established.There was no fee for submitting entries and the new award should serve as a further incentive to produce quality work.The deadlines are 1st August for the older prizes and 31st August for the new award.