Prestigious peace award for Iceland’s president

Grimsson with visiting Indian politicians in Iceland, 2000The Hindu News Update Service recently reported that Iceland’s President, Dr Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, will soon be the recipient of the 2007 Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.

The award will be presented to the President along with a trophy, a citation and prize money worth 5 million Rupees.

Grimsson was chosen by a jury led by Vice President Hamid Ansari.

For the past 25 years, Iceland’s current president has worked closely with India, first visiting the country as a Member of Parliament in 1983. He is currently serving his third term as Iceland’s head of state.

Grimsson’s important international work includes serving as chairman and international president of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA).

The PGA was responsible for the “Six Nations Peace Initiative” which lasted for five years beginning in 1984 and in which prominent politicians such as the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi participated.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding was founded in 1965 and has been given annually by the Government of India since that time to people “for their outstanding contribution to the promotion of international understanding, goodwill and friendship among peoples of the world”.

Martin Luther King Junior was the second ever recipient of the award, which was given in his name posthumously. Other famous recipients include Mother Teresa, in 1969, Nelson Mandela, in 1979, and Aung San Suu Kyi in 1993.