The APES prize was created in 2003 to permit foreign journalists working in Switzerland to show their appreciation and admiration for outstanding Swiss personalities. In 2010 the APES General Assembly decided to make that year’s prize the last, with the award going to an institution, Swiss Tourism, rather than an individual.

2010 Suisse Tourisme

Federico Sommaruga of Swiss Tourism Office, Frances Williams of APES, Michel Ferla of Swiss Tourism

Federico Sommaruga of Swiss Tourism Office,
Frances Williams of APES,
Michel Ferla of Swiss Tourism


Members of APES decided to award the final APES prize to an institution, Swiss Tourism, in recognition of the close and fruitful collaboration between the two organisations over many years. Swiss Tourism has organised a large number of press trips and visits for APES members, enabling them to discover varied aspects of multicultural Switzerland, learn the country’s history and admire its magnificent scenery and heritage. The prize was accepted on behalf of Swiss Tourism by its Deputy Director, Michel Ferla, and Federico Sommaruga, who has been the main contact for APES over the past decade. In 2011 Swiss Tourism created a dedicated online service offering APES members the opportunity to sign up for a varied programme of events.





2009 Hans Erni

Swiss artist Hans Erni, Yolanda Rojal, president of APES, Lucerne 2009

Swiss artist Hans Erni,
Yolanda Rojal, president of APES, Lucerne 2009

Hans Erni, painter, sculptor, illustrator, engraver and ceramist, celebrated his 100th birthday on 21 February 2009, in Lucerne, the city of his birth. Erni’s early work was influenced by Cubism, by abstract art and by surrealism but he later developed his own humanistic style that centres on humanity’s achievements and challenges. In June 2009 the City of Geneva offered to the United Nations a monumental fresco designed by Erni, entitled “ta panta rei” (“All in motion” in Greek). The two ceramic panels installed on the walls on each side of the entrance to the UN building in the Place des Nations symbolise the battle for peace, and the hopes for peace, liberty and social justice of all the peoples of the planet.

2007 Dick MARTY

2007 Dick MARTY

2007 Dick MARTY

Born in 1945 in Soregno, Dick Marty is a doctor of law and a legal and economic consultant. He was Chief Prosecutor (Attorney General) for the canton of Ticino before launching his political career in 1989 as a member of the Radical Democratic Party. He was a member of the government of Ticino from 1989 to 1995 with responsibility for the Department of Finance and Economy. Elected to the Swiss Council of States (Senate) in 1995, he is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In 2005 he was charged by the Council of Europe to look into the CIA’s alleged use of secret prisons in Europe. Published on 7 June 2006, his report was devastating. Fourteen European countries were accused of complicity with the CIA, but all have denied the allegations.

2005 Achille CASANOVA

2005_APES_Prize_Achille_CasanovaJournalist, then vice-chancellor of the Confederation, Achille Casanova was officially named the chief spokesman for the Federal Council on 1 September 2000. In this post he was present at meetings of the Federal Council and had the right to express his own views in his own way in order to inform the public. In 2006 he was elected President of the Balzan “Fund” Foundation in Zurich, part of the International Balzan Prize Foundation which awards a prestigious prize worth one million Swiss francs for achievements in human and social sciences, art, physics, mathematics, natural sciences and medicine.

2004 Cornelio SOMMARUGA

laureats_sommaruga2Born in 1932 in Rome, Cornelio Sommaruga was President of the International Committee of the Red Cross from 1987 to 1999. A lawyer, he had previously worked in a Zurich bank before joining the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Berne. After various diplomatic posts, including at ambassador level, he became a trade delegate and then State Secretary for external economic relations. Elected President of Initiatives of Change International, a non-governmental organisation, he chaired the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining between 2000 and 2008.


2003 Jean ZIEGLER

Jean Ziegler, a Swiss sociologist, was born in 1934 in Thun. After studying law and political science, he taught at the University of Geneva and at its Institute of Development, and became a Socialist member of parliament. He has published about 15 books, notably “A Switzerland above suspicion” and “Switzerland washes whiter”, both strong attacks on Switzerland’s financial centre, and an autobiography “The joy of being Swiss”. From 2002 to 2008, he was the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to food, and since 2009 he has been vice-chair of the consultative committee to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Adolf OGI

Adolf Ogi et Jean ZieglerBorn in 1942 in Kandersteg, member of the Swiss People’s Party, Adolf Ogi was a minister in the Federal Government from 1989 to 2000. Head of the Department of Transport, Communications and Energy for eight years, in 1995 he took over the Ministry of Defence and Sport. Twice President of the Swiss Confederation, in 1993 and 2000, Adolf Ogi was a popular minister. A great sportsman, he worked to improve relations between the citizen and the state. After leaving government, in 2001 he was named special counsellor to the United Nations secretary general for sport in the service of development and peace. His mandate ended in 2007.