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Ruud Lubbers receives very first Energy Charter Award

5 December 2013, Nicosia, Cyprus - Mr. Ruud Lubbers, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands received today the very first Energy Charter Award. The Award was presented by the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Cyprus Mr. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and the Energy Charter Secretary General Dr. Urban Rusnák during the Ministerial Session of the 24th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus.

On behalf of Mr. Lubbers, the Award was collected by Amb. Brechje Schwachöfer, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Cyprus. In his video message to Conference Meeting participants, Mr. Lubbers said, "I receive this award at the very moment that geographic expansion is key. We are now talking 'World', not only Europe. Governance has to be practiced as complementary governance by business, politics and civil society, each of them with their own 'mission', but together".

The Energy Charter Award was introduced in 2013 in order to recognise the outstanding role of individuals and entities in the development of the Energy Charter Process. Three distinguished candidates were put forward by delegations for the Award this year: Mr. Ruud Lubbers, who is largely considered as the founding father of the Energy Charter; Mr. Ilia Timofte, a longstanding delegate of Moldova involved in the Charter Process from its early days; and Mr. Howard Chase, Chairman of the the Energy Charter’s Industry Advisory Panel since its establishment in 2004.

Mr. Ruud Lubbers received the most votes from participants of the Energy Charter Process and thus became the first laureate of the Energy Charter Award.

Mr. Ruud Lubbers can be considered as the founding father of the Energy Charter. Prime Minister of the Netherlands at the time, in 1991 Mr. Lubbers launched an initiative to establish a commonly accepted foundation for developing energy cooperation among the states of Eurasia and beyond. This initiative resulted in the creation of the Energy Charter Process. In 1991 the political declaration known as the Energy Charter was signed in The Hague. Three years later followed the Energy Charter Treaty and the Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects. Today the Energy Charter Process brings together almost eighty members and observers, all working towards the same important goals: open and efficient energy markets, sustainable development and, ultimately, energy security on a global scale.