The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize

© UNESCO
The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize gold medal.

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize is intended to honour living individuals and active public or private bodies or institutions 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. 

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. It is in line with the philosophy of UNESCO’s founders who, in the preamble to the Organization’s Constitution, solemnly declare that: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”

The General Conference of UNESCO conferred on the Prize the highly symbolic name of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the "Sage of Africa". In his lifetime, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny appointed intuitu personae Mr Abdou Diouf, former President of the Republic of Senegal, Patron of the Prize, and Mr Henri Konan Bédié, former President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Sponsor of the Prize.

In establishing this Prize, the General Conference of UNESCO wanted to reaffirm its commitment to peace and dialogue between cultures and civilizations. It desired to endow itself with a significant instrument so as to encourage and honour all those who contribute to bringing about a world of greater mutual support and human fellowship.

In order to achieve the objectives of the Prize in favour of peace, an International Commission for Peace Research was also set up by UNESCO. Composed of eminent figures, this Commission is engaged in an in-depth study on peace, conflict resolution and dialogue among civilizations and cultures.

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