The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Ellen Wins India's Peace Prize

The Honorary Consulate General of India in Liberia has announced that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been awarded the Indira Gandhi 2012 price for peace, disarmament, and development.

A communication issued by the Indian Honorary Consul General Upjit Singh Sachdeva on November 19, 2012 said the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is one of India's most prestigious awards, administered by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

The release said the award will be conferred upon President Sirleaf by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee during the Liberian leader's pending visit to India, which is being arranged.

The Consul General said the prize was instituted to commemorate Indira Gandhi's outstanding contribution to India and global well-being, as well as to promote the laudable causes she espoused.

"After receiving nominations from around the world, final selection for the Prize is made by a Jury of eminent persons, headed by the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and including eminent International Scientists and Jurists," the release said.

The Consul General said the 2012 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is being awarded to President Sirleaf for serving as "an example and an inspiration to many a woman in Africa and beyond; for ensuring the return of peace, democracy, development, security and order in Liberia; and her strong interest in the consolidation and improvement of Liberia's relations with India since her first election as President in 2005 and her re - election in 2011".

Moreover, President Sirleaf has been singled out for the prize for restoring financial health to Liberia which was on the verge of fiscal breakdown.

The release issued in Monrovia revealed a list of previous recipients of the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, including former Soviet President, Mikhail S. Gorbachev (1987); former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland (1988) and former President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma (1990).

Others include former President of Czech Republic Dr. Vaclav Havel (1993); former Nigerian President General Olusegun Obasanjo (1995); former United States President, Jimmy Carter (1997); former President of Ireland, Mrs. Mary Robinson (2000) and former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan (2003).

The rest of the India's prestigious prize winners include the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai (2005); the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mrs. Sheikh Hasina (2009) and former President of Brazil, LuizInacio Lula da Silva (2010), among others.

Since its establishment in 1986, the Prize is awarded annually "to a person or organization without any distinction of nationality, race or religion, in recognition of efforts towards promoting international peace and disarmament; racial equality, goodwill and harmony among nations; securing economic cooperation and promoting a new international economic order; accelerating the all-round advancement of developing nations, and enlarging the scope of freedom and enriching human spirit."

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