UN chief to visit Korea next week to receive peace award
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will make a four-day visit to South Korea next week to receive this year's Seoul Peace Prize, an official said Wednesday.
Ban was nominated in June for the award for his work promoting the rights of women and children, his efforts to eliminate poverty in developing nations and his contribution to the democratization of Middle Eastern countries. He will arrive in Seoul on Sunday, the foreign ministry official said, on condition of anonymity.
The U.N. chief will receive the biennial award on Monday, according to the official.
Ban will be the first Korean to receive the award, which was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Past winners include then-International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch, then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
The cash prize of US$200,000 rewards peace initiatives by politicians, academics, civic activists and international organizations.
In a statement issued in June after his nomination, Ban's spokesperson said the U.N. chief was "deeply honored" over his selection.
"The Secretary-General regards this award as recognition of the efforts of the United Nations and humbly accepts the 2012 Seoul Peace Prize on behalf of the United Nations," the spokesperson said.(Yonhap)