Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (5 October 2018)


I warmly congratulate Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad Basee Taha who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for their efforts to put an end to sexual violence as a strategy of war.

Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, founded the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 40,000 female victims of rape and mutilation have been able to access medical care. His commitment to sexual and reproductive rights and health has made him a powerful advocate for women’s rights. France has supported Dr. Mukwege’s foundation in the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 10 years, notably through the French Development Agency, a cooperation agreement between the Panzi Hospital and Angers University Hospital, and the funding of cooperation between the Panzi Hospital and Hôpitaux Sud de Paris (University Hospital of Melun), as well as with Avicenne Hospital. He was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2011.

Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist, is a survivor of Daesh captivity. In 2016, the United Nations appointed her Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. She demonstrates courage and an exceptional level of commitment and, as I notably expressed to her when I received her last year, she can count on France’s support for the Yazidi community, especially in the areas of mine-clearance, the fight against impunity, education and health.

France has made gender equality the great cause of the five-year term. It is the guiding principle of our external action within the framework of our foreign policy which we intend to be strongly feminist.

Violence against women and girls is the most prevalent form of human rights violation in the world. Dr. Mukwege and activist Nadia Murad have tackled this real scourge with energy, perseverance and courage. France is delighted that the bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize means that their commitment is now receiving the global recognition that it deserves.