The International Ocean Institute (IOI), conferred on Commissioner Karmenu Vella, the IOI's highest award: The Elisabeth Mann Borgese Medal.
Elisabeth Mann Borgese (1918 - 2002), founded the IOI as a knowledge-based non-governmental, non-profit international organization devoted to the sustainable development of the oceans. She was a champion of and a firm believer in the United Nations and what it represented in terms of justice in different aspects of governance, in particular the Ocean and the environment. One of her great achievements was her struggle for the recognition of the principle of the Common Heritage of Mankind by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In her memory the Board of Governance of IOI has established the Elisabeth Mann Borgese Medal (EMB Medal).
Commissioner Vella has always kept his commitments to bringing the seas and oceans to the forefront of the European and global agendas throughout his tenure as European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (2014-2019). The medal recognises leadership in promoting the importance of sustainable maritime occupations and economies that preserve natural resources on land and sea and, especially, for creating and maintaining global partnerships aimed at good governance of our planet’s ocean.
Amongst past recipients of the EMB Medal is UM's Rector, Prof Alfred J. Vella.
The award ceremony was held at Europe House, in Valletta.
Present at the ceremony were:
- Dr Awni Behnam, Honorary President of the IOI
- Ms Antonella Vassallo, Managing Director of IOI HQ
- Ocean Ambassador Alan Deidun, Director of the IOI Malta Training Centre
- As well as the distinguished speakers present during the seminar.