Ceremony to award Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize to Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed Ali

© UNESCO

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia will receive the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize during a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 9 July (4pm).

Several Heads of State and Government as well as numerous personalities will attend the ceremony, which will mark the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Prize.

Abiy Ahmed Ali was selected by the international jury of the Prize on 29 April in recognition of his contribution to dialogue in the region and, in particular, for instigating the peace agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

On the side-lines of the ceremony, Abiy Ahmed Ali will make a gift to UNESCO of a replica of Lucy, the fossil of the extinct hominim Australopithecus afarensis species discovered by an international research team in 1974 at Hadar in Ethiopia. The discovery of this 3.18 million year old and relatively complete fossil (40% preserved) revolutionized the understanding of human evolution, demonstrating that the acquisition of bipedalism was at least 3.2 million years old, and had largely preceded the process of increasing endocranial volume.

Created in 1989, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize honours 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 members of the international jury of the Prize are: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, François Hollande, former President of France, Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, UNESCO Special Envoy for Science for Peace, Michel Camdessus (France), former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Professor Mohamad Yunus (Bangladesh), founder of Grameen Bank and Laureate of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, and Forest Whitaker (USA), founder of the Peace and Development Initiative.

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