Unesco awards its Peace Prize to Giuseppina Nicolini

Rome: Mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa, Giuseppina (Giusi) Nicolini was today awarded with the Peace Prize by Unesco has for her commitment to saving the lives of migrants and refugees.

Nicolini was bestowed with the honour on Wednesday for her effort that saved thousands who fled across the Mediterranean often on unseaworthy boats to find a better and peaceful life, Xinhua news agency reported.

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Lying closer to Tunisia than it does to Sicily, Lampedusa is the first European landfall for people fleeing war and economic hardship in Africa and the Middle East. Since becoming Mayor in 2012, Nicolini has been an outspoken defender of refugee and migrant rights.

The Unesco Peace Prize jury “recognised (Nicolini) for her boundless humanity and unwavering commitment to refugee crisis management and integration in response to the arrival of thousands of refugees on the shores of Lampedusa and elsewhere in Italy.”

“Refugees and migrants constitute one of the crucial issues of our day, notably in the Mediterranean where nearly 13,000 men, women and children have perished in shipwrecks since 2013,” declared the acting President of the jury, Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique.