12 June 2012 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “deeply honoured” over his selection as the 2012 winner of the Seoul Peace Prize, according to his spokesperson.
“The Secretary-General regards this award as a recognition of the efforts of the United Nations and humbly accepts the 2012 Seoul Peace Prize on behalf of the United Nations,” his spokesperson said in a statement issued overnight.
The award’s Selection Committee officially announced its decision early Tuesday. The Secretary-General was reportedly selected for his efforts in promoting the rights of women and children, tackling poverty in developing countries, and contributing to the democratisation of Middle Eastern countries.
According to its website, the Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul.
“The significance of the Seoul Olympic Games rests in the fact that the games heralded the termination of age-old political and ideological conflict between the East and the West, fostering a worldwide atmosphere of peace and reconciliation,” the website states. “It also served as an occasion to confirm the possibility of achieving world peace through mutual understanding and cooperation.”
In his statement, the UN chief’s spokesperson noted that, as stated in the announcement by the Prize Selection Committee, the international community faces a greater array of daunting challenges and more pressing concerns than ever before.
“Addressing these multiple crises requires renewed, strengthened multilateralism in which all international actors participate actively with a strong sense of ownership and in greater partnership,” the spokesperson said. “At the epicentre of this multilateralism, the United Nations is carrying out its life-saving activities around the world.”
“The Secretary-General renews his commitment to continuing to exert his utmost efforts to respond to the need for peace, human rights and development of the world’s people,” he added.
Past awardees of the Seoul Peace Prize include former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in 2010, and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ogata Sadako, in 2000.
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