UN awards peace prize to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today announced awarding the 2019 Félix Houphouët-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.

Prime Minister Abiy is named as laureate of the 2019 edition of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize for his actions in the region and, in particular, for having been the instigator of a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The announcement was made this morning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at during the World Press Freedom celebration gathering. The Prize was established in 1989 by a resolution supported by 120 countries and adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 25th session.



The statement UNESCO issued on the prize has stated that the jury has recognized the laureate’s worthiness for the reforms undertaken to consolidate democracy and social cohesion. Finally, the jury considers this distinction as an encouragement to pursue his commitment to the promotion of a culture of peace in the region and across the African continent, the statement said.

The Jury met on 29 April at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to designate the laureate of the 2019 edition of the prize, which will mark the 30th anniversary of its inception.

In 1989, in order to pay tribute to President Félix Houphouet-Boigny’s action for peace in the world, 120 countries sponsored a resolution unanimously adopted by UNESCO’s Member States to establish the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Prize – UNESCO Peace Prize. The Prize is intended to honor living individuals and active public or private institutions or bodies that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO.

UNESCO in its press statement indicated that Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on an official visit to Ethiopia on 2 and 3 May on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, will meet with the Prime Minister and convey her warm congratulations.

The statement also noted that the jury was composed of Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate (2011), Mr François Hollande, Former President of France, and Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan – UNESCO Special Envoy for science for peace.

It also involves Mr Michel Camdessus (France) – Former Director General of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Professor Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh), founder of Grameen Bank – Nobel Peace Laureate (2006) and Mr. Forest Whitaker (United States of America), founder of the Peace and Development Initiative.