Angela Merkel Awarded Félix Houphouët-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize


Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives UNESCO Peace Prize in Ivory Coast: Angela Merkel, who left office last year, and was awarded the Félix Houphouët-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize in Ivory by Coast’s capital Yamoussoukro on Wednesday.

Angela Merkel was given the Award for her 2015 decision to welcome refugees into her native country Germany. “All the members of the jury were touched by her courageous decision in 2015 to welcome more than 1.2 million refugees, notably from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Eritrea. This is the legacy she leaves,” the jury wrote in August last year when the decision was first announced.

“Working resolutely and hard for peace is even more important than it has ever been,” Angela Merkel said in her acceptance speech. “Dialogue is the weapon of the strong and not the weak,” she added, quoting Houphouët-Boigny, Ivory Coast’s first president after its independence from France in 1960.

About the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize

Created in 1989, this annual Prize honours an individual, an institution, or a private or public body which has significantly contributed to the promotion, research, safeguarding or maintenance of peace, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the Constitution of UNESCO. World-renowned figures have received it, including Nelson Mandela, Frederik W. De Klerk, and Jimmy Carter, who was awarded the prize for his work in the field of education.

The Members of the international jury

  • Mr Michel Camdessus, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (France)
  • Mr Santiago Gamboa-Samper, writer, journalist and diplomat (Colombia)
  • Mr Denis Mukwege, gynecologist, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 2018 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Mr. Thomas Pesquet, astronaut, Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (France)
  • Ms Hayat Sindi, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (Saudi Arabia)
  • Mr Forest Whitaker, Actor, producer and director, Goodwill Ambassador to UNESCO, (United States)


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