Nunn-Lugar Award Presentation to Igor Ivanov

Thank you Vartan Gregorian, Bill Burns and your colleagues from the Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Endowment for this special evening.

I am delighted to be here tonight with my friend and trusted partner Dick Lugar to honor two outstanding leaders – Des Browne and Igor Ivanov. 

I think that most folks in this audience would agree that General Omar Bradley’s statement many years ago is even more accurate today: “Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom and prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” Igor and Des share a common dedication in working to reduce the threats from weapons of mass destruction in an increasingly dangerous world. 

I am honored that this award bears the name Nunn-Lugar. People in many parts of the world, particularly in the former Soviet Union over the last 25 years, have concluded that my last name is Lugar and Dick’s first name is Nunn. But perhaps the Ivanov-Browne team can avoid that peril.

In this time of challenge and danger, our Carnegie hosts could not have chosen two more outstanding leaders. I think that you are sending a strong signal that peace requires partnerships. 

By choosing both Des and Igor, you have skillfully avoided the dilemma that confronted President Lincoln when he was visited by two hat makers, each of whom brought the President a hat that they had made as a gift. After the two presentations, both hatters stood back nervously waiting for Lincoln to indicate his preference. Lincoln looked over the two hats very carefully, and then remarked with great gravity, “Gentlemen, they mutually excel each other.”

Des and Igor, you mutually excel each other, and the world is fortunate that you are friends and partners. My honor tonight is to read the citation presented to Igor, but let me first make three brief points as my personal preamble:   

  • Igor is guided by his convictions and principles and has worked courageously in support of a productive and mutually beneficial U.S., Russian and European relationship – in periods of tension as well as periods of constructive engagement. 
  • Igor is an enormously skillful diplomat who is always working to maintain an open dialogue and always striving for common ground.
  • Igor is creative and committed to finding a path forward, and most importantly today, he inspires and creates space for many others in Russia, as well as the United States and Europe to follow his example. 

Thank you, Igor, for your courage, your leadership, your example and your outstanding commitment to making the world a better place and a safer place. And now the important part of my assignment – to present the Carnegie proclamation and award. Igor, please come forward. 

March 23, 2015
About

NTI Co-Chairman presents Igor Ivanov with the Nunn-Lugar Award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Authors
Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn

Co-Chair, NTI