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Culture

Kofi Annan Receives German Media Prize

The U.N. Secretary General is this year’s recipient of the German Media Prize for his efforts in securing world peace. Big-name politicians and celebrities are turning out in droves for the ceremony in Baden-Baden.

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Mr. United Nations follows Yitzhak Rabin and Bill Clinton as a Media Prize winner.

Forget Davos. Baden-Baden is the place to be seen Wednesday night when the red carpet rolls out.

There’ll be plenty of glitz and glamour with American VIPS like former president Bill Clinton and Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, as well as Hollywood stars like Chevy Chase and John Cusack.

Of course, Germany’s own brand of celebrities will be bathing in the glow of thousands of flashbulbs. Tennis legend Boris Becker, supermodel Nadja Auermann and Berlin’s charismatic mayor Klaus Wowereit will all don their most festive attire for the German Media Prize ceremony.

The real toast of the town, however, will be the prize winner himself: Kofi Annan. The 65-year old U.N. Secretary General, who already has a Nobel Peace Prize to display back home in New York, certainly doesn’t need another accolade to bolster his influence on the world stage. But that didn’t prevent the Baden-Baden market research institute Media Control, which awards the annual prize, from singling him out for his role in helping secure world peace.

Kofi Annan represents "like no other politician the founding principles of the United Nations to strive for a better organized and more peaceful world," according to the prize’s jury, which consists of the biggest names in German media.

Illustrious winners

Clinton and Wolfgang Thierse, president of the German parliament, will speak before the 600 guests gathered in Baden-Baden’s Congress Hall.

The German Media Prize is one of the most prestigious honors for international personalities, who have had a significant influence on the world’s media. It has been awarded every year since 1992. Previous recipients François Mitterrand, Yitzhak Rabin, Yassir Arafat, Boris Yeltsin, King Hussein of Jordan, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Gerhard Schröder, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Queen Silvia of Sweden und Queen Rania of Jordan.