Archbishop Desmond Tutu wins 2012 UNESCO/Bilbao prize for human rights promotion

2012-11-29 16:22:38 GMT2012-11-30 00:22:38(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PARIS, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova has designated South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu as the winner of the 2012 UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, the UN agency announced in a statement.

Archbishop Tutu was selected by an international jury in recognition of his outstanding contribution to building a universal culture of human rights at national, regional and international levels and his dedication to the work of the United Nations and UNESCO on various human rights issues.

The archbishop was appreciated by the jury for the outstanding role he played "in building the new democratic, non-racial South Africa and his invaluable contribution as Chairperson of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to national reconstruction which became a model for other post-conflict societies," the UNESCO statement said.

Furthermore, the Prize recognizes his courageous activism, particularly with young people, to promote of non-violence and oppose all forms of discrimination and injustice.

The prized will be awarded on Dec. 10, the Human Rights Day, by Director-General Bokova at UNESCO's Paris Headquarters. Archbishop Tutu will be represented by his eldest daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe.

The biennial UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights was established in 2008 thanks to a generous endowment from the City of Bilbao. It rewards outstanding contributions made by organizations and individuals to the cause of human rights through education and research.

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