Former US President Jimmy Carter has been named as one of three winners in the first annual Lui Che Woo Prize – Prize for World Civilization.
Humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres, and renown Chinese scientist Professor Yuan Longping, were also announced as laureates of the inaugural prize.
Property tycoon and casino owner, Lui Che-woo established the prize, which carries a HK$20 million award, last year (2015) to recognise people who contribute to improving “world civilisation”.
Carter, also the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize awardee, was awarded Lui’s Positive Energy Prize for his commitment to human rights, equality, ethnic and racial reconciliation, and peace.
He set up the non-profit Carter Centre in 1982 with a mission to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.
A statement from Mr Carter’s office said he was humbled to receive the prize.
“This recognition will help The Carter Centre in its mission to wage peace and fight disease in some of the world’s most resource-poor nations,” Deanna Congileo, press secretary for Carter, said.
Medecins Sans Frontieres, also a Nobel Peace Prize awardee in 1999, was awarded Lui’s Welfare Betterment Prize for its contribution to the treatment and control of the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti and the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Dr Chiels Liu Chen-kun, president of MSF- Hong Kong, welcomed yesterday’s announcement.
“We are particularly pleased that the prize committee chose the field of the treatment and control of epidemics and infectious diseases as a critical focus for this first award,” Dr Liu said.
“That shows a real awareness of the struggle that is underway globally to improve the very precarious protections that exist for many people in the most exposed parts of the world.”
Chinese agricultural scientist Professor Yuan, was awarded Lui’s Sustainability Prize for the development of high-yielding hybrid rice.
His hybrid-rice breeding technology has been a vital resource in strengthening food security in countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the United States since its development in 1976.
Professor Lawrence Lau Juen-yee, chairman of the Lui Che Woo Prize recommendation committee, said more than 1,000 nominations for winners were received.
An official prize presentation is planned for October.
By NG KANG-CHUNG July 26, 2016 in South China Morning Post