Helen Clark: Speech presenting Sir Richard Branson with the International Crisis Group Chairman’s Award “In Pursuit of Peace” Awards Dinner

Oct 26, 2015

It’s a great pleasure for me to present the Chairman’s Award to Sir Richard Branson tonight - for his visionary leadership as an entrepreneur and as a philanthropist.

Everyone here is familiar with Sir Richard’s flair and innovation in business, his enthusiasm for everything he does, and his commitment to a life with dignity for people and a sustainable future for our world.

Sir Richard once called peace “the highest human aspiration, worth standing up for at any time”. He himself has stood up for peace many times in his life, beginning in his teens. He has
consistently supported finding peaceful solutions to conflict, and has spoken up for those who are the victims of conflict.

In co-founding The Elders with Nelson Mandela and Peter Gabriel, he saw how much such an eminent group could do to promote peace, human rights, and positive change.

Sir Richard has also brought a rigorous business approach to tackling climate change with the Carbon War Room, harnessing the resources and influence of the world’s top entrepreneurs around this cause. And he has lent his own voice time and time again to the cause of wildlife conservation – just recently he was meeting business leaders in Vietnam as part of the Stop Using Rhino Horn campaign.

Through his words and deeds, Sir Richard shows us all how business and business leaders can be a hugely positive force for good in our world. I cannot think of a better recipient for the Chairman’s Award than Sir Richard Branson, and it is my great pleasure to invite him to receive this award now.

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