Turkish Prime Minister wins first ever UN award in memory of slain Lebanese leader
The Prime Minister of Turkey is set to receive an inaugural award honouring the late Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri who was killed in a massive car bomb attack five years ago, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) announced today.
The memorial award goes to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his achievements in “leadership, statesmanship and good governance,” especially as Mayor of Istanbul in the mid-1990s when he hosted the Second UN-Conference on Human Settlements, which led to the establishment of UN-HABITAT as a fully-fledged UN programme tasked with promoting adequate shelter for all.
“When the history of UN-HABITAT is written, Prime Minister Erdogan’s contribution as Mayor of Istanbul will not be missed,” said UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, in a message congratulating him on the award.
Ms. Tibaijuka added that she looked forward to receiving Mr. Erdogan at the World Urban Forum later this month in Rio de Janeiro, where the ceremony to present the prize will be held.
In granting the award the seven-member international jury also noted Mr. Erdogan’s contribution to conflict resolution, tolerance and peacebuilding initiatives in his region and international cooperation.
“All these are core ingredients in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and poverty eradication and are in line with the vision of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri,” UN-HABITAT said in a news release.
The agency said the memorial award was instituted with the slain Prime Minister’s foundation to reward individuals and organizations that have made considerable efforts towards the development of human settlements, as well as economical and social advances, in line with Mr. Hariri’s vision and his dedication to the reconstruction of Lebanon.
On 12 February, the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed Mr. Hariri and 22 others, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to help bring those responsible to justice.