Angela Merkel wins UN award for refugee coverage
- October 5, 2022
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More than 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers were welcomed by Germany in 2015 and 2016
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was honored this Tuesday, 4th, with the prestigious Nansen Award from the refugee agency of United Nationsreceiving praise for his determination to protect asylum seekers while in office.
Highlighting the more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers welcomed by Germany in 2015 and 2016, amid a migration crisis triggered especially by the war in Syria, the UNHCR selection committee praised Merkel’s “leadership, courage and compassion”.
At that moment, the woman who led the German government for 16 years said that the situation “tested our European values like few times before. It was nothing more and nothing less than a humanitarian imperative.”
UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi praised Merkel’s determination to protect asylum seekers and uphold human rights, humanitarian principles and international law.
“By helping more than a million refugees survive and rebuild, Angela Merkel has shown great moral and political worth,” he said in a statement.
“It was true leadership, appealing to our common humanity, standing firm against those who preach fear and discrimination,” he emphasized.
“It showed what can be achieved when politicians follow the right path and work to find solutions to the world’s challenges, rather than simply shifting blame to others,” continued Grandi.
The selection committee highlighted that, in addition to protecting people forced to flee the war, Merkel was the driving force behind the collective efforts of the Germany to receive them and help them to integrate into society.
The Nansen Prize, awarded annually, was created in 1954 in honor of the first United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Norwegian Arctic explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen, to highlight his work on behalf of refugees.
Merkel will receive her award and the $150,000 at a ceremony in Geneva on October 10, which will also honor four regional winners.