The Director-General of Unesco has been awarded the 'Mediterranean Award for Cultural Heritage 2012' by the Mediterranean Foundation, for her role in protecting world heritage and striving for world peace via dialogue. During the awards ceremony at the Mediterranean Foundation headquarters in Naples, Hilary Clinton was also presented with a prize in the 'Mediterranean' category for her role in steering US foreign policy along diplomatic lines during the Arab Spring, and "beginning the long path of democratization of Arab countries based on freedom 'and solidarity".
Sister Maria Pia Giudici was presented with a special Inter-religious dialogue' award for her dedication to peace and dialogue between different faiths.
And an 'Information' award was given in memory of Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto, who was shot and killed when reporting during the Syrian civil war. "He died while informing the world of crimes against humanity so that these barbarians be hindered in a peaceful, civil world that supports human rights," the award statement said. During the ceremony attention was also drawn to a new peace initiative between Arab Culture organization Alesco, scientist Mohamed-El Aziz Be Achour and President of the Mediterranean Foundation Michele Capasso which focuses on inter-ethnic youth education and training. As the point of reference for the Arab world, the Naple's based Mediterranean Foundation has a fundamental role in facilitating dialogue and peace. A petition signed by over 60,000 people worldwide against the violence in Syria, launched by the Mediterranean Foundation in August of this year, was also presented.