UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization awarded the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for his work in fighting against poverty. According to information published by the UN news agency, Lula has been chosen for the Felix HouphouÀ«t-Boigny Prize.
The announcement was made this week in Paris, France, by the former president of Portugal, Mário Soares, as informed by Michele Montas, the spokesperson for the UN president, Ban Ki-moon. The Félix Houphouí«t-Boigny Prize, named after the first president of Cote d'Ivoire, formerly known as the Ivory Coast, was created in 1989 by the UNESCO.
Announcing the jury's decision, former President of Portugal Mário Soares declared: "The jury has decided to give the Félix Houphouí«t-Boigny Prize to Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federal Republic of Brazil, for his actions in pursuit of peace, dialogue, democracy, social justice and equal rights, as well as for his valuable contribution to the eradication of poverty and the protection of minorities' rights."
According to the board of jurors, Lula was chosen for the actions that he is implementing in order to promote peace, dialogue, democracy and social justice, and also for his contribution for eradicating poverty and protecting the rights of minorities in Brazil.
UNESCO will present the award at a ceremony in July. The prize is granted on an annual basis to persons and organizations that work for the maintenance of peace.
Among the previous winners are Nelson Mandela and Frederik W. De Klerk; Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Pérès and Yasser Arafat; King Juan Carlos of Spain and former United States President Jimmy Carter; Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari.