Contested UNESCO prize awarded amid boycott
PARIS (AP) -- UNESCO is awarding research prizes from Equatorial Guinea to three scholars after years of divisive debate.
Tuesday's ceremony is being boycotted by the U.S. and France, who maintain that Equatorial Guinea's corrupt regime is the source of $3 million in funding for the prizes.
They say the award -- the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, named after President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Africa's longest-ruling dictator -- is a stain on the cultural agency's honor.
Egyptian scientist Maged Al-Sherbiny, who researches vaccine development and diagnostics, South African Felix Dapare Dakora, studying food scarcity in Africa, and Mexican Rossana Arroyo, researching parasitic diseases, are the first recipients of the prize. Each is to receive $100,000.
The rest of the $3 million will go to subsequent winners.