Angela Merkel is a 68-year-old German scientist and politician who served as the Chancellor of Germany during 2005-2021. During her tenure, Germany faced the challenge of dealing with refugees from the Syrian war which Merkel handled efficiently.
Angela Merkel spent 16 years of her career serving as the Chancellor of Germany before stepping down in 2021. She was the first-ever female chancellor of the country and was considered one of the most powerful people in the world. Merkel was often referred to as European Union’s de facto leader. During her tenure, she worked towards the betterment of the foreign policy of the country.
Merkel welcomed the refugees of the 2015 civil war in Syria. For her efforts on the refugee policy, she was awarded with the UNESCO Peace Prize on Wednesday.
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Angela Merkel Receives UN Peace Prize
The event was attended by around 2000 people and held at Yamoussoukro, the capital of Ivory Coast, on February 8 where Angela Merkel was honoured with Felix Houphouet-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize for welcoming around 1.2 million asylum seekers and refugees from Syria to Germany during the 2015 civil war. The former recipients of the UN Peace Prize include leaders like Nelson Mandela, Francois Hollande and Yasser Arafat.
“The jury wanted to honour the courageous decision taken in 2015 to welcome more than a million refugees… when at the same time so many voices were calling for the closure of Europe………You were, at that time, the vision of courage in politics,” said UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay.
In her acceptance speech, Merkel reportedly said, “Respecting, preserving and sharing human rights is the mission of each of us. We decided that it was necessary to respect these principles in our migration policy…….This was only possible because many people rolled up their sleeves on the ground.”
The Civil war of 2015 in Syria happened because of the power struggle between President Bashar Al-Assad’s government and the anti-government rebel forces. The rebel forces were backed by Russia and Iran and the war led to a lot of destruction, leaving 6.6 million residents as refugees.