Nominations for the 2020 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity are now closed. The nomination period had officially opened on May 16, 2019, the International Day of Living Together in Peace declared by the UN to uphold the desire to live and act together in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony. Since then, hundreds of submissions have been received, featuring an unprecedented 593 unique candidates.
Commenting on the nomination process, Lord Ara Darzi, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and Chair of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, said, “The submissions we have received showcase 593 unique candidates, each of them exceptional in their own way, so I think it’s fair to say that as members of the Selection Committee we have our work cut out for us. Every year we keep discovering more and more amazing stories of fearless and caring people willing to risk everything to help others. It’s quite inspiring, and as the global Aurora movement grows, we intend to continue raising awareness of these unsung humanitarians’ outstanding achievements.”
All submitted nominations will now be evaluated by the Expert Panel comprised of the leaders in the humanitarian field, who will create a shortlist of potential candidates they deem most deserving of the Aurora Prize. The main criteria are courage, commitment and impact demonstrated by the nominees. After that, the Aurora Prize Selection Committee will choose the 2020 Aurora Humanitarians (finalists) whose names will be announced on April 24, 2020. Finally, the 2020 Aurora Prize Laureate will be named at the award ceremony.
The Selection Committee is chaired by Lord Ara Darzi, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, and includes Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former foreign minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; Médecins Sans Frontières co-founder and former foreign minister of France Bernard Kouchner; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power; human rights activist and Founding Director of Enough Project John Prendergast; Artistic and General Director of Mariinsky Theatre and Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmoniker Valery Gergiev and President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian. World famous peace and human rights activist Benjamin Ferencz and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney are the Committee’s Honorary Co-Chairs.
The 2020 Aurora Humanitarians will be announced on April 24, 2020, after the deliberations of the Selection Committee. This will be followed by a series of events later in the year, honoring the humanitarian community and the Aurora Prize nominees and culminating in the 2020 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity Ceremony.
Photo: © UNHCR/Rahima Gambo