Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize to SOS MEDITERRANEE and Giuseppina Nicolini

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Prize, established in 1989 by UNESCO, intends to honour 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 Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize has decided to award the Prize to the nongovernmental organization SOS MEDITERRANEE and Giuseppina Nicolini, former mayor of Lampedusa (Italy), for their work to save the lives of refugees and migrants and welcome them with dignity.

After examining conditions around the world, the Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize determined that refugees and migrants constitute one of the crucial issues of our day, notably in the Mediterranean where nearly 13,000 men, women and children have perished in shipwrecks since 2013,” declares the acting President of the Jury, Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique.

This exceptional distinction is a great honour for all the teams of SOS MEDITERRANEE who have worked tirelessly at sea for over 16 months to save lives. We dedicate it to all the victims of this tragedy that continues in the Central Mediterranean and call on all States to take responsibility for putting an end to this tragedy”, says Sophie Beau, co-founder of SOS MEDITERRANEE.