» H.R.H Princess Sumaya and Forest Whitaker members of the jury for the Houphouët-Boigny Prize
09.05.2019 - Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors

H.R.H Princess Sumaya and Forest Whitaker members of the jury for the Houphouët-Boigny Prize


On 29 April 2019, the jury of the Félix Houphouet-Boigny – UNESCO Peace Prize named Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, as laureate of the 2019 edition of the Prize.

Besides Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, UNESCO Special Envoy for Science for peace and Forest Whitaker, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation and founder of the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI), the jury was composed of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate (2011), François Hollande, Former President of France, Michel Camdessus and Former Director General of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Laureate (2006).

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 Houphouet-Boigny Prize - UNESCO Peace Prize in 1989. 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. For the 30th anniversary of the Prize, the jury designated Abiy Ahmed Ali as 2019 Laureate for his actions in the region (he has been the instigator of a peace agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Eritrea) as well as for the reforms undertaken to consolidate democracy and social cohesion.

Through their actions, both UNESCO Special Envoys Princess Sumaya and Forest Whitaker work toward peace. Princess Sumaya seeks to promote science as an instrument for peace between the peoples. On the other hand, Forest Whitaker aims to promote peace and reconciliation with educational tools in areas affected by conflict and violence, thanks to his Initiative.

The pursuit of peace is the founding mission of UNESCO, written its Constituent Act. Political and economic arrangements of governments are not enough to secure the lasting and sincere support of the peoples, the Organization focuses on founding peace upon dialogue and mutual understanding as well as upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity.

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