• Kyodo

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Sadako Ogata, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, has been chosen as the fifth recipient of the $200,000 Seoul Peace Prize “in recognition of her distinguished contributions to world peace,” the prize committee said Wednesday.

“As a tireless spokesperson for refugees, she has striven to solve refugee problems at the very scenes of conflict, in spite of extreme personal risk,” Lee Chul Seung, Seoul Peace Prize Committee president, said in a statement.

Ogata, who was elected to her post by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1990, has made personal visits to more than 40 trouble spots around the world.

“Especially, when Mrs. Ogata assumed the office of the high commissioner, she insisted that Japan, her home country, pay more as an economic power. She also demanded that Japan provide personnel assistance,” the statement said.

The biennial prize, created in 1990 to commemorate the 1988 Seoul Olympics, is awarded to encourage and recognize those who have contributed to the establishment of a peaceful world with reconciliation, harmony and prosperity.

Ogata, who is to come to Seoul for the award ceremony scheduled for Oct. 13, will be awarded with a diploma and a plaque, in addition to a monetary award of $200,000.

The past four winners are former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, Medecins Sans Frontieres, a global medical relief organization, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and the head of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch.

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