Bestowal of the Personal Cross Border Award "Sail of Papenburg" to Ambassador Aguibou Diarrah:

Source of the photo: Jero Morales

On 27 October 2017, the Personal Award "Sail of Papenburg" was handed over by Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of AEBR, and Jens Gabbe, Chair of the AEBR Advisory Committee,  to Ambassador Aguibou Diarrah, who was Chief of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) until his retirement in July 2016.

Mr. Diarrah worked in the team of the President of Mali (1992-2002), Alpha Oumar Konaré, the first African leader who talked, asked for and promoted CBC in Africa. As a result, the African Union launched its Border Programme in 2007 (with the support of the German GIZ) and Ambassador  Diarrah was appointed by the Commission of the African Union as Chief of the AUBP.

Ambassador Diarrah already presented the embryo of the AUBP at an AEBR Forum in Strasbourg in 2006, and AEBR has cooperated very much with him in various projects and initiatives, such as e.g. the elaboration of AEBR's proposal of an International Day of Cooperation across National Boundaries, which was discussed with the team of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and presently with António Guterres, the brand-new Portuguese Secretary General of United Nations. This is based on the African Border Day (7 June), established by the African Union.

Due to Portugal's sensitivity to African issues, it had a particular significance that is was possible to hand this personal award over in a ceremony held in Elvas (Portugal). Ambassador Diarrah participated in the pre-conference activities on 23 and 24 October in Cáceres, the Workshop of DG Regio held on 25 October in Mérida, and also in the Conference of European Border Regions on 26 and 27 October 2017 in Badajoz.

Source of the photo: Jero Morales

The Personal Award Sail of Papenburg is handed over in irregular intervals to persons who are very active in the field of cross-border cooperation. 

Since 2005, the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) bestows the Cross Border Award „Sail of Papenburg“, donated in 2002 by the Ems Dollart Region, also to individual personalities. They are personalities of merit, who promote the idea of European unification - in particular in the field of cross-border co-operation – in political, cultural, social, economic and intellectual terms, thus supporting the AEBR in achieving its objectives and performing its tasks. Therewith, the Association of European Border Regions does not simply intend to refer to the unsolved problems at the internal and external borders of Europe in an admonitory manner, but to show ways towards practical solutions for these urgent questions as well.

In the past, the Personal Award was given to MEP Elmar Brok (2006), Michel Delebarre, former CoR President (2008), Dr. Viktor Freiherr von Malchus, chair of the AEBR Advisory Committee 1974 -2008 (awarded posthumously in 2008) and MEP Danuta Hübner, former EU Commissioner for Regional Policy  (2013).

Individual activities, but also overall achievements and efforts of a personality can be honoured. The award can be bestowed annually or in irregular intervals. The EU-citizenship of the person to be honoured is not a precondition. 

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