Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize

To pay tribute to President Félix Houphouët-Boigny's work for peace, in the world, one hundred and twenty (120) countries in 1989 sponsored a resolution adopted unanimously by the Member States of UNESCO in To establish an International Prize for the Search for Peace bearing the name of the Sage of Africa.

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, which is today the most important distinction awarded by a United Nations Organization in the field of peace, is intended to honor individuals, organizations or institutions Having made a significant contribution to the promotion, research, preservation or maintenance of peace, in the spirit of the Constitution of UNESCO and the Charter of the United Nations.

The General Conference of UNESCO underlined the exemplary nature of the struggle of a man who had devoted his whole life to the defense of peace. She insisted on the highly symbolic character of her personality, which for more than fifty years has been a bridge of friendship and fraternity between Africa, Europe and the world.

When he disappeared on December 7, 1993, all the great men of the world paid tribute to his action in favor of peace. Referring to the memory of the illustrious disappeared, HE Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, declared: "... Félix Houphouët-Boigny is one of those exceptional men whom Providence has instilled with parsimony over the centuries. For the new generations and those who will follow them, there will remain an example of patriotism, clairvoyance, constancy and generosity ...".

HE Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal, sponsor of the Prize nominated by President Félix Houphouët-Boigny himself, declared: "... Many social and political crises in West Africa have been resolved thanks to its discreet intervention , As a wise man, and to such a man, one can say without flattery: you have deserved from Africa, so many positive acts will undoubtedly earn you our eternal gratitude and respect."

Since its inception, the Prize has been awarded to personalities or institutions to support their efforts for peace, dialogue and human brotherhood.

In a resolution sponsored by seventy-two countries and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 51st session in November 1996, the international community welcomes the creation of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize. Pledged its full support.

The jury for the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, wich is supported by many countries on the five continents, spares no effort to insure the international recognition to the Prize, in accordance with President Félix Houphouët-Boigny's wishes, whose philosophy and example will continue in President Henri Konan Bédié's words, to inspire the defenders of the Peace in the World. 

Given the international community's acceptance of this high distinction, UNESCO appeals to all African states and friends of the Sage of Africa to ensure that, in keeping with its memory, To support the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize.

The prize, which includes a check for € 122,000, a gold medal and a diploma signed by the Director-General of UNESCO, is awarded each year by an international jury composed of eleven prestigious personalities from five continents and chaired by Mr. Henry A. Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The Director-General of UNESCO invites annually by circular letter all Member States and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Organization to submit nominations.

In addition to Member States and non-governmental organizations, the following persons and institutions may nominate candidates:

  • Members of the Jury during their deliberations;
  • Former winners of the Prix Félix Houphouët-Boigny for the Search for Peace;
  • Academies or academicians;
  • Centers specializing in the fields of Peace Research;
  • Institutes of international law;
  • The members of the International Court of Justice;
  • Associations or organizations working for peace and human rights and the advancement of democratic values in the world, in compliance with the Constitution of UNESCO and the Charter of the United Nations.

List of winners of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize


Nelson Mandela

President of the African National Congress (ANC)

Frederik Willem de Klerk

President of the Republic of South Africa


The Hague Academy of International Law



Yitzhak Rabin

Prime Minister of the State of Israel

Shimon Pérès

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel

Yasser Arafat

President of the Palestinian National Authority


HM Juan Carlos I

King of Spain

Jimmy Carter

Former President of the United States of America


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Sadako Ogata

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


Álvaro Enrique Arzú Irigoyen

President of Guatemala

Rolando Morán (Ricardo Arnoldo Ramírez de León)

Leader of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG)


Fidel V. Ramos

Presidentof the Philippines

Nur Misuari

Leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)


Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister of Bangladesh

George J. Mitchell, Sénateur Américain

United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland


Community of Sant'Egidio



Mary Robinson

Former President of Irland, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

President of East Timor


Cardinal Roger Etchegaray

President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Mustafa Cerić

Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina


Abdoulaye Wade

President of Senegal


Martti Ahtisaari

Former President of Finland, United Nations diplomat and mediator


Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

President of Brazil


Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, represented by its President Mrs Estela Barnes de Carlotto



François Hollande

President of the French Republic


Barrack Obama

President of the United States of America


Giuseppina Nicolini

Mayor of Lampedusa,

SOS Méditerrannée


Abiy Ahmed Ali

Prime Minister of Ethiopia


Angela Merkel

Federal Chancellor of Germany (2005-2021)

International Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize

  • Santiago GAMBOA-SAMPER (Colombia);
    • Writer, journalist and diplomat.

  • Denis MUKWEGE (Democratic Republic of the Congo);
    • Gynecologist,
    • Nobel Peace Prize 2018.

  • Forest WHITAKER (United States of America);
    • Actor, director and producer,
    • Founder of the NGO Peace and Development Initiative,
    • UNESCO Special Envoy.

  • Hayat SINDI (Saudi Arabia);
    • UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

  • Michel CAMDESSUS (France);
    • Director of the International Monetary Fund (1987-2000).

  • Thomas PESQUET (France);
    • Astronaut,
    • FAO Goodwill Ambassador.