Note No. 5958
24 August 2005

Note to Correspondents

UN Information Department, International Public Relations Association to Honour Publicity Campaign "Save the North Sea"

NEW YORK, 23 August (UN Headquarters) -- A media relations-led awareness campaign to reduce the amount of litter in the North Sea has been chosen for the 2005 United Nations Grand Award for outstanding achievement in public relations.  Jointly sponsored by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) and the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), the annual award was established in 1990 to recognize excellence in public relations campaigns that address priority issues before the world Organisation.

The Grand Award winner is "Save the North Sea" with Weber Shandwick (Glasgow, United Kingdom) for a European Union environmental awareness campaign, which drew attention to the damage caused by 20,000 tons of litter dumped every year in the North Sea. The campaign characterized birds of the North Sea as turning into "living dustbins", with 96 per cent of fulmars having plastic in their stomachs.  "Save the North Sea" also worked with a group of fishermen in Scotland to cut the amount of marine litter and clean up the sea.  Another initiative was a European campaign called "Fishing the litter", which was launched on World Ocean Day in 2004.

The student group "Profi" of St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University was chosen for an honourable mention for their "Near Caucasus" campaign in the city of Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation).  The project, which is running through the end of 2005, seeks to increase acceptance in the city of people coming from the Caucasus, and it has already detected a change in attitudes.  Following a training session organized by Profi, 43 per cent of the attendees, compared to 11 per cent at the beginning, were interested in learning more about the culture and traditions of the people from the Caucasus.  At the end of a conference with community leaders, 64 per cent of participants, compared to 45 per cent at the beginning, expressed an interest in assisting people coming from a different community than their own.

The award will be presented as part of the 2005 IPRA Golden World Awards at a ceremony on Thursday, 3 November 2005, in London.

For more information on the awards, please call (212) 963-9480.

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