Ban Ki-moon: Peace prize calls for improving human rights worldwide
The Nobel Peace Prize awarded Friday to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is a "recognition of the growing international consensus for improving human rights practices and culture around the world," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
"Over the past years, China has achieved remarkable economic advances, lifted millions out of poverty, broadened political participation and steadily joined the international mainstream in its adherence to recognized human rights ... practices," Ban said.
He hoped that "any differences on this decision will not detract from advancement of the human rights agenda globally or the high prestige and inspirational power of the ... award," DPA reported.
In Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, "We welcome this recognition of the very important role human rights defenders play in China, and in many other countries, as well as the challenges they face."
She also praised such activists for "the courage they so often show in speaking up for what they believe in."
Liu is the first citizen of China to receive the peace prize.