by Miceál O’Hurley
DUBLIN – Diplomacy in Ireland – The European Diplomat would like to announce a further award of the Diplomatic Service Medal. The Awards Committee has chosen to recognise the sustainable development work of Ms. Monique Ntumngia and the Green Girls Organisation. While not herself a diplomat, Ms. Ntumngia has become an unofficial ‘Ambassador of Sustainable Energy and Empowering Girls and Women‘ through her work. A lawyer by training, with further education in renewable technologies, Ms. Monique Ntumngia founded the Green Girls Organisation as a way of responding to climate change which disproportionately impacts regions like Africa’s Cameroon despite the country being a negligible contributor to global warming – all while empowering girls and women to transform their lives and communities to create a better world.
A Cameroon charity, Ms. Ntumngia has led efforts over the last 3-years for the Green Girls Organisation to tour Cameroon’s ‘off grid’ communities, and locations where the grid is unreliable, to introduce women to solar power and sustainable energy technologies and practices. After training girls women to maintain and use solar units, the Green Girls Organisation provides the solar panels to them free of charge. By reducing reliance on burning wood and other items for lighting and heat, the Green Girls Organisation empowers women to transform their lives and their society by embracing sustainable energy technologies. Beyond technology, the training and education is extended to waste management, environmental protection and a holistic view of sustainability in rural settings. Ms. Ntumngia and the Green Girls Organisation make accessing renewable and sustainable energy free to end-users which helps reduce poverty and improve domestic life, help reduce harm to the environment and open unlimited possibilities where few existed before.
Ms. Ntumngia and the Green Girls Organisation’s efforts in empowering girls and women represents a growing hope that climate change and its devastating and destabilising effects can be countered by embracing renewable and sustainable technologies. The urgent necessity of such efforts have recently been underscored by the COP26 conference and the work of the United Nations to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the European Union Green Deal’s goal’s and objectives. In directing the efforts at women, this work will help alleviate poverty, create opportunities and improve the quality of life of countless women and children all while remaining almost entirely carbon-neutral.
About the Diplomatic Service Medal
The Diplomatic Service Medal is struck as a medallion suspended from a bar and ribbon of blue and yellow reflecting the colours adopted by the European Union of which Ireland is an integral member. Burnished silver in colour, the medal depicts Nike, the goddess of victory surrounded by the eleven of the twelve stars of the European Union signifying that the work of the European Union and diplomats everywhere is never complete. Tradition holds that Nike represents the mythic gods as the embodiment of victory in both war and peaceful competition. As uniquely depicted on the Diplomatic Service Medal, the goddess Nike, faithful to the foundational commission of diplomats, is rendered without her sword associated with military might and instead holds aloft the torch of truth, knowledge and service lit with the flame of wisdom in her left hand while in her right she embraces the laurel wreath of peace.
The Diplomatic Service Awards are an annual event hosted by Diplomacy in Ireland – The European Diplomat. The Certificate and Medal are of exceptional design depicting the victory of diplomacy over conflict. The awards are conferred by the Editor and the Awards Chairperson each December.
Two Types of Awards for Diplomacy, International Relations, Research, Teaching & Service
The Diplomatic Service Award is a certificate that can be awarded to individuals who merit special recognition owing to their exceptional contributions of service in the fields of diplomacy, foreign affairs or international relations, in research or teaching in the academy, or in distinguished service rendered to diplomats. When the Diplomatic Service Award is conferred it is done so by means of a certificate describing the acts that merit the award.
The Diplomatic Service Medal is a medal struck in metal suspended from a clasp and ribbon. It may be conferred upon those who serve in the domestic or foreign services, holding diplomatic rank, or those who have rendered exceptional service to diplomats and the cause of diplomacy. When the Diplomatic Service Medal is conferred it is accompanied by a certificate describing the reason for the award of the medal.
Medal Conferral Categories
Diplomatic Service Medal with Honours – This category is deferred solely upon those holding the dignity of Ambassadorial or Ministerial rank, or by those who discharged the rank of Chargé d’Affaires. It appears with a silver oak leaf device attached to the ribbon to denote the special dignity for which the medal was awarded. The medal is accompanied by a Certificate describing the reasons for the medal being conferred.
Diplomatic Service Medal – The medal, suspended from the ribbon, is awarded to all other recipients of the medal accompanied by a Certificate describing the reasons for the medal being conferred.
Diplomatic Service Medal with Valour Device – If any recipient is presented with the award for having exhibited exceptional valour in diplomatic service for the betterment of humanity, or the safety of civilians, which merits the award of the Diplomatic Service Medal with Valour. In this instance, a ‘V’ device surrounded by a laurel wreath is attached to the ribbon to denote this rare and special distinction. The medal is accompanied by a Certificate describing the reasons for the medal being conferred.
Diplomatic Service Award – Those whose contributions are deserving of recognition may be awarded the Diplomatic Service Award – Certificate of Recognition.
Conferral of Medals and Awards
Annual December Awards – The Diplomatic Service Medals and Awards are generally presented annually in December. However, the medal or award may be awarded at any time by a decision of the Editor and Awards Chairperson.
Comments from Editor-in-Chief Miceál O’Hurley
“Monique’s powerful efforts in founding the Green Girls Organisation and transforming rural Cameroon while empowering girls and women is simply remarkable,” O’Hurley commented. “When I think of the energy, commitment and determination to lift-up rural girls and women with sustainable energy and environmentally sound management practices I am in awe of all that they achieve,” he added.
Comments from Awards Chairperson Oksana Shadrina
“We were particularly impressed with the Green Girls Organisation’s focus on stemming the impact of climate change by setting an example for others to follow.” said Shadrina. “The very model of girls and women teaching other girls and women to embrace new technologies to create a better environment, create opportunities and improve quality of life is a powerful demonstration of how girls and women can be incredible agents of change,” Shadrina added. “Monique’s vision in founding the Green Girls Organisation has proven indispensable in fighting climate change, empowering women and the training and education they impart to others ensures rural girls and women will be more self-reliant and capable of having a greater determination over their own destiny,” commented Shadrina. “Monique and the Green Girls Organisation are model citizens of the world who will inspire others to follow in their footsteps,” Shadrina stated.
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For More Information Contact:
Miceál O’Hurley, Editor-in-Chief
Diplomacy in Ireland – The European Diplomat
Telephone: (086) 107 0017 or (01) 254 4747