UN chief wins S.Korea peace prize

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was named on Tuesday as the winner of this year's Seoul Peace Prize, the prize foundation said.

Ban was chosen for promoting the rights of women and children, efforts to eliminate poverty in developing nations, and contributing to the democratisation of Middle Eastern countries, the foundation said.

He is the first South Korean to receive the prize -- awarded every two years -- which was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 1988 Seoul summer Olympics.

Ban, who was elected to a second five-year term as UN chief in 2011, is the 11th recipient of the award, which recognises people who devote themselves to transcending race and ideology to build world peace.

Previous winners include the then-International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch, the then-UN secretary general Kofi Annan and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.

The winner receives a diploma, a plaque and a $200,000 payment.

Ban said in a statement he was deeply honoured by the award, which he "humbly accepts" on behalf of the United Nations as a whole.

The former South Korean foreign minister said he would keep striving "to respond to the need for peace, human rights and development of the world's people".

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