President Wade of Senegal to receive the 2005 Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace PrizeThe President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, was chosen today as the laureate of UNESCO’s 2005 Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize by an international jury presided by former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate Henry Kissinger.
Announcing the jury’s decision, Mr Kissinger declared: “The prize is given to President Abdoulaye Wade for his contribution to democracy in his country and for his mediation in political crises and conflicts in Africa.”
Born in 1926 in Saint-Louis du Sénégal, President Wade is a lawyer by training. A former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Dakar, he has served as Member of Parliament and, several times, as government minister. Elected to the Presidency on March 19, 2000, he is one of the instigators of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
The date of the ceremony, at which the euro 122,000 prize, diploma and medal will be awarded, is to be determined in the near future after consultation with the laureates.
The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize - created in 1989 and awarded by UNESCO annually - honours people, organizations and institutions which have contributed significantly to the promotion, research, safeguarding or maintaining of peace, mindful of the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO. The Prize is named after the first president of Côte d’Ivoire, Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
The international jury of the prize is composed of eminent personalities including the former President of Portugal Mario Soares, Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, the former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, and the former French Justice Minister Jean Foyer.
The 2003 Prize was awarded to the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mustafa Ceric and to Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, former President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. This is the second time that the prize goes to Africa after its attribution to Nelson Mandela and Frederik W. De Klerk in 1991. Former laureates include: Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat (1993); King Juan Carlos of Spain and former US President Jimmy Carter (1994); and Xanana Gusmão, President of Timor-Leste.
Photo © UNESCO/Niamh Burke