World Chambers Federation

ICC grants first Merchants of Peace Awards

  • 11 December 2012
ICC Court

ICC has bestowed its inaugural ICC Merchant of Peace Award to Rona Yircali, ICC World Chambers Federation Chair, and Martin Granholm, former member of the ICC Executive Board.

In recognition of their contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity through international trade and investment, the award has been established to recognize members of the business community who embody the core mission of ICC through their work.

“Mr Yircali and Mr Granholm devoted their time to ensure that business will be equally represented worldwide by promoting fair trade and ensuring a proper ICC strategy was put in place to spread this message across the globe,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier. “ICC is grateful for their support and would like to recognize their efforts by making them the first honourees of the Merchants of Peace Award.”

Since 2006, Mr Yircali has been at the helm of the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF), the backbone of the chamber community uniting a global network of 12,000 chambers and their business members. Mr Yircali has continued to oversee the improvement of WCF services to ensure that chambers of commerce worldwide have the best tools to remain relevant in the global economy.

Mr Yircali has advanced ICC’s mission by improving these services to better facilitate the free flow of trade and by strengthening the global network of chambers through the biennial ICC WCF World Chambers Congress.

Some of these services include the ATA Carnet system, which allows for the duty-free and tax-free temporary import of goods, and the World Chamber Network (WCN) Chamber Directory. The Congress not only helps individual chambers to become more productive, but also reinforces links among them.

Mr Granholm, Deputy President and CEO of Finnish pulp, paper and timber manufacturer UPM-Kymmene Corporation, served on the ICC Executive Board from January 2007 to June 2012. As a member of the Board he participated in the development and implementation of ICC’s strategy and policy-making procedures, and oversaw the financial affairs of the world business organization.

Members of ICC continue to draw inspiration from its founders, the “merchants of peace”, who believed that trade and investment foster peace and prosperity in the world. In 1919, these entrepreneurs decided to create an organization that would represent business everywhere and called it the International Chamber of Commerce.

At that time, the world had few working international structures and no world system of rules to govern trade, investment, finance or commercial relations. That the private sector should fill the gap without waiting for government was an idea of breath-taking originality.

The recipients of the ICC Merchants of Peace Award are chosen by the ICC Chairmanship, comprising the Chairman, Vice-Chair and Honorary Chairman. The nominations of candidates to be honoured by the Merchant of Peace Award are encouraged from the ICC global network of national committees, the World Chambers Federation, individual companies and the ICC Secretariat.

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Get more information on the upcoming ICC WCF World Chambers Congress.