Canadian, current President of the International Crisis Group, and former Chief Prosecutor of International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, Louise Arbour has tirelessly helped track down, prosecute, and convict, at the highest levels, individuals who have committed crimes against humanity in those territories. Her innovative methods and strategic sense have strengthened the power of the International Criminal Court. They were unanimously saluted by both the Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, in his inaugural address, and by the former IMF Director and founding member of the Fondation Chirac, Michel Camdessus.
The courage of Marguerite Barankitse was equally hailed as this Burundi citizen received the Fondation Chirac Prize doted with 100 000 euros. The sum will be used by her NGO “La Maison Shalom”. In a very moving speech, the winner, affectionately known as “Maggie”, read letters from children sheltered at the Maison Shalom. She went on to promise that she would “live up to” the recognition she just received.
Jean-Pierre Lafon, Vice-President of the Fondation and Ambassador of France, introduced Maggie, emphasizing her courage and her commitment to children; he hailed her as a symbol for us all.
Among the well-known figures who had come to salute the work of the laureates were Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia and member of the Honorary Committee of the Fondation; Michèle Alliot-Marie, Deputy and former Minister; Henri de Raincourt, the Minister for Cooperation; Frederic Mitterrand, the Minister of Culture and Communication; Stéphane Martin, President of the Quai Branly Museum; François Pinault, and Ousmane Sow.
Mr. Al Bunia was represented by Fadi Nahas and the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah was represented by the First Secretary of the Embassy of Kuwait, Khalid Al Yassin.
This page also contains links to speeches by François Fillon, Kofi Annan, Michel Camdessus, and Jean-Pierre Lafon, as well as a selection of pictures and videos.