The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel was awarded the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding for 2018. She was awarded the prize “for her remarkable, compassionate leadership and her strong commitment to mutual understanding, international cooperation, and peace.”
She received the award in Berlin, and this was the first time that the ceremony was held outside the United States. In her address on receiving the award, she stressed on the need for international cooperation and the importance of global institutions and organizations such as the United Nations, the NATO, and the World Trade Organization. She also emphasized the need to stand up against excessive populism and nationalism.
What is the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding?
The Fulbright Prize for International Understanding is awarded to honour the career and spirit of Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. It rewards and recognizes outstanding contributions made by eminent persons or establishments “toward bringing peoples, cultures, or nations to greater understanding of others.”
It was first established in 1993 and the inaugural winner was Nelson Mandela. Eminent statesmen such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the former Presidents of the United States; Vaclav Havel, the first President of the Czech Republic; and Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland have received the honour. Also, world leaders such as Desmond Tutu, a human rights activist from South Africa and Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations have been recipients of this prestigious honour. Philanthropic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Medecins Sans Frontieres have also received this prize0