The Tipperary Peace Convention announced today that Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass is to receive the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award for his significant role in assisting the peace process in Northern Ireland. Previous recipients of the award include former South African president Nelson Mandela (1989) and former U.S. president William J. Clinton (2000).
In July 2013, Northern Ireland's first minister, Peter Robinson, and deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, invited Haass to chair independent "All-Party Panel" negotiations to address sensitive issues and disputes, including parades and protests; flags, symbols, and emblems; and related matters stemming from the past in order to make the peace more resilient going forward. The panel brought together the five political parties represented in the Northern Ireland Executive.
Although six months of talks ended on New Year's Eve without agreement, the Tipperary Peace Convention acknowledges that the involvement in Northern Ireland of Haass and the panel's vice chair, Meghan L. O'Sullivan, "could yet form the basis for a deal [and] has laid the foundations and created the environment for a more peaceful and prosperous future."
Upon receiving news of the award, Haass said, "I am honored to be selected by the Tipperary Peace Convention to receive the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award. I view this award as a tribute to the many people across Northern Ireland who have done so much to promote genuine reconciliation there. I have been fortunate to meet and work with numerous people dedicated to Northern Ireland's future, and am gratified to be recognized alongside such individuals as Bill Clinton, George Mitchell, Mary and Martin McAleese, Robin Eames, and the others who have dedicated themselves to the cause of peace in Northern Ireland and beyond."
From 2001 to 2003, Haass served as the lead U.S. government official in support of the Northern Ireland peace process, during which time he also served as director of policy planning at the State Department.
The award will be presented to Haass later this year in Tipperary.