FRANCE - Bernard Kouchner, the founder of international aid groups Médecins sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde, has agreed to address the IPE Awards in Paris on November 30.

The doctor-turned-politician and former French health minister will speak at the event to be held at the Paris Rive Gauche Hotel and Conference Centre.

"We are delighted to announce that Bernard Kouchner has agreed to speak at the IPE Awards 2006," said Piers Diacre, Publisher of IPE.
"His attendance in Paris - alongside European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy - reflects the stature of the awards event, which will be attended by some of the most senior figures in the industry.
"M. Kouchner needs no introduction as one of the world's foremost humanitarians and as a leading figure in French politics," Diacre added.

"The IPE Awards have become the event of the year for everyone involved in Europe's pensions industry so it is very gratifying to see M. Kouchner is taking such a keen interest. We very much look forward to hearing his address," Diacre said.

Kouchner made a name for himself and the organisation he co-founded by speaking out against abuses of human rights in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was appointed the head of the United Nations' civil administration for Kosovo in 1999 and was a candidate for the position of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) last year.

Last month it was disclosed that European Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy had agreed to address the awards.

The Awards - now in their sixth year - will consist of a seminar followed by the awards dinner in the evening.