UN chief says Nobel Peace Prize winners 'defended our values'

UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres (File, AFP)
UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres (File, AFP)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday congratulated Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad after the two jointly won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

"In defending the victims of sexual violence in conflict, they have defended our shared values," he said in a statement.

Guterres noted Murad's work as a goodwill ambassador since 2016 for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, adding: "She has pursued support for victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery and justice for perpetrators.

"Her powerful advocacy has touched people across the world and helped to establish a vitally important United Nations investigation of the harrowing crimes that she and so many others endured."

Mukwege, meanwhile, "has been a fearless champion for the rights of women caught up in armed conflict who have suffered rape, exploitation and other horrific abuses," said Guterres.

"As a skilled and sensitive surgeon he not only repaired shattered bodies but restored dignity and hope."

Mukwege and Murad, a former slave of the Islamic State group, won the award "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict," the Nobel committee said.

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