May 18, 2012

Winners Collect CGDC Awards for Enhancing Global Dialogue

The 2nd CGDC Annual Meeting in Vienna (May 16-18), culminated in the CGDC Awards ceremony and gala dinner. The CGDC Awards 2012 were granted to individuals and organizations with outstanding contribution to promoting dialogue and understanding worldwide. Winners were selected according to their achievements in humanitarian causes, music, politics and sport. For a second consecutive year, President Bill Clinton was the CGDC guest of honor, this year accepting the CGDC Award 2012 for “Enhancing Mutual Understanding and Dialogue amongst Diverse People.”

Prior to the Awards ceremony, President Clinton delivered a keynote speech and participated in a Q&A session. He spoke eloquently on some of the key themes of the conference – how to create the right circumstances for true diplomacy, honest and transparent government. He also touched on the other key theme of the 2nd CGDC Annual Meeting – the policies of the global energy business. President Clinton also alluded to CGDC’s belief in the “energy of mind” to create lasting and positive change.

Chess Grandmaster and World Champion, politician and ecologist, Anatoly Karpov, received the CGDC Award for “Enhancing cultural dialogue”. Mr. Karpov commented, “It’s a great honor for me to be one of the people decorated with this award. I am very proud to join this fantastic organization which was founded just one year ago, but is already very active internationally.”

Nobel prize winner, Professor Muhammad Yunus was presented with the CGDC Award for “Enhancing Social Business Dialogue” for his work creating micro-finance loans in developing countries. Professor Yunus graciously recognized the CGDC’s “…efforts in encouraging communication between business and politics”.

The Special Olympics received a CGDC award for its invaluable work in “Enhancing sport in dialogue”. The Special Olympics organization uses sports to foster acceptance and inclusion for one of the world’s most neglected populations – those with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman & CEO, Special Olympics commented that the “…CGDC’S recognition of sport as a universal catalyst for social change will encourage more people to engage in the necessary dialogue about creating a worldwide community of understanding, respect, and acceptance for all people.”

Last but not least, the German rock band, “Scorpions” received the CGDC Award “Music for Dialogue”. Their song, “Wind of Change” – the iconic hymn of democracy after the fall of the iron curtain was performed by Klaus Meine, Scorpions’ lead singer. In his rendition of “Wind of Change”, Mr. Meine was accompanied by the children’s choir of the Viennese State Opera. He commented on behalf of the group that “…there are no borders in music. From our concerts in the Soviet Union in the late 80s, to all the shows the Scorpions played in Lebanon, Israel or at the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, we always tried to build bridges with our music, bringing people together in the most peaceful way.” The future is wide open when the children of tomorrow dream away, in the “Wind of Change”. Whilst watching Mr. Meine’s performance with the children’s choir, hardly anyone in the audience could fail to be moved or inspired to create a “wind of change” in our world.