Green Cross International was among the first nine recipients of the inaugural “Save the World Awards” in Vienna on 24 July. Green Cross was recognised for its “Water for Peace” programme. Receiving the award on behalf of the network, GCI President Alexander Likhotal said the mission of Green Cross was extremely relevant today as we shape our future amidst multi-faceted crisis.
The first annual Save the World Awards, which recognizes exceptional individuals and organizations working toward a peaceful and sustainable future, were hosted by World Awards Media. The latter also host the World Awards launched in 2000. Founded by Austrian journalist Georg Kindel, the World Awards also featured the Women’s World Award from 2004.
GCI’s Water for Peace programme seeks to promote cooperation and conflict resolution throughout the world’s transboundary river basins. GCI works with governments, local authorities and civil society to remove the obstacles to integrated and cooperative water management, and resolve related conflicts, in six important international basins across the world: the La Plata, the Jordan, the Volga, the Okavango, the Volta and the Danube.
Actress Andie MacDowell hosted the awards ceremony with 2,500 guests in attendance and millions more watching the live broadcast on TV across the globe. The ceremony was held outdoors despite rain at the Zwentendorf Nuclear Power Plant, the only nuclear power plant in the world to be completed but never used. The plant is currently being transformed into a giant solar power station.
Michael Jackson posthumously received an award for his humanitarian efforts. His brother Jermaine accepted the award in Michael’s honor and also performed “Smile” and “I’ll be there.” Other winners of the 2009 Save the World Award include “People for People” Founder Karlheinz Boehm, Olympic Champion Carl Lewis, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate Vandana Shiva, the pioneer of the environmental movement Freda Meissner-Blau, Greenpeace, SOS Children’s Villages and the UN Millennium Campaign “End Poverty Now.”