The Nobel Peace Prize 2011
to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman
Statement by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Paris, 7 October 2011
I was delighted to hear that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to three exceptional women who campaign tirelessly for peace and democracy: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman.
Personally and on behalf of France, I offer them my warmest congratulations and pay tribute to their commitment to the essential values underpinning their action: respect, dialogue and tolerance.
The awarding of this prize to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf confirms how far Liberia has come, as shown by her election as the first democratically elected woman president on the African continent; since being elected, she has led her country towards the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law. Today, Liberia – which in 1847 became the first independent republic in Africa – is once again setting an example on the African continent.
Through her responsibilities as leader of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), Leymah Gbowee has worked tirelessly for national reconciliation, which is key to Liberia’s stability and development.
At a time when Yemen is going through a difficult time of transition, marked by the difficulty in implementing the Gulf Cooperation Council’s crisis exit plan, the voice of journalist Tawakul Karman is doubly important: it embodies the struggle for democracy in Yemen and the dignity and courage of that country’s women.
The struggle of these three exemplary women sends a message of hope to the African and Arab peoples. Their struggles and values are those of France. It’s our responsibility and duty to support them so that people’s legitimate aspirations, particularly those of young Africans and Arabs, are fulfilled.
Today my thoughts are with all women in the world who make a resolute commitment to their peoples’ future./.