Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will speak today at UNESCO at the ceremony to award the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize to Giuseppina Nicolini, former Mayor of Lampedusa, and the NGO SOS Méditerranée, for their efforts to provide assistance to and welcome refugees and migrants.
The minister’s visit will also provide an opportunity to express France’s attachment to UNESCO, given the key role of education and culture in achieving the common goal of peace within the UN. It will also provide an opportunity to honor a leading figure in development and peace in Africa, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, and to underscore the importance France attaches to the need for solidarity with the refugee population.
Jean-Yves Le Drian will then receive, at the Quai d’Orsay, a delegation of UNESCO teams and member states, in the presence of Audrey Azoulay, France’s candidate for the post of director-general.
The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize was created in 1989 to pay tribute to living individuals, and active public or private institutions and bodies that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace, in accordance with the UN Charter and the Constitution of UNESCO.
The prize’s sponsor, Abdou Diouf, former President of the Republic of Senegal, as well as its patron, Henri Konan Bédié, former President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, will also take part in this event.