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Fri, Nov 30, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Lu becomes first woman to win World Peace Prize

RECOGNITION The vice president says the honor given to her by the World Peace Prize Awarding Council actually belongs to the people of Taiwan

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Annette Lu(呂秀蓮), the vice president, has won this year's World Peace Prize, the World Peace Prize Awarding Council said on Wednesday in Washington. Lu said the honor belonged to the people of Taiwan.

At a press conference yesterday, Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Eugene Chien (簡又新) stressed that Lu was the first female winner of the prize.

Lester Wolff, former chairman of the US House Asian Affairs Committee, is the chief judge of the awarding council. Wolff said that a seven-member delegation, including Han Min-su, the council's founder, will fly to Taipei and present the award to Lu on Dec. 9.

Wolff said the council decided to bestow this year's award on Lu to honor her efforts to promote Taiwan's democracy, peace and the women's rights movement.

There was no political meaning behind the council's decision, Wolff said.

Wolff added that he felt it was a shame the US government refused to allow Lu to come to Washington to collect the award.

Chien detailed what he saw as major efforts Lu has made since May of last year, when she became the first female vice president of Taiwan, to help promote world peace.

For instance, Lu has initiated humanitarian aid to Tibet and India to help deprived people in remote areas. She also invited five Nobel Peace Prize winners to Taipei in August for a world peace forum.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in the US and the subsequent US-led war in Afghanistan, Lu has also urged the citizens of Taiwan to donate money to help Afghan refugees, Chien said.

Lu said she received the prize on behalf of the 23 million people of Taiwan, because without their cooperation she could not possibly have completed these humanitarian tasks.

The award council was jointly established by Han Min-su, a South Korean minister, and senior US Representative Robert Leggett as part of the mechanism under the World Peace Corps Mission.

Previous award winners include former US president Ronald Reagan, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, the first president of South Korea, Rhee Syngman, and Taufa Ahau of Tonga.

Chen Chien-jen (程建人), Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Washington, also attended the event and gave a speech on Wednesday. Chen said that he used to work with Lu at the Legislative Yuan as a lawmaker from 1993 to 1996 and knew his colleague very well.

Chen said Lu was a brave woman who promoted human rights and democracy wholeheartedly.

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