The ANOC Merit Award was created to recognise persons who have in an exceptional way furthered or contributed to the work of the Association. The ANOC Merit Award is formally presented to the laureates in a ceremony taking place during an ANOC General Assembly. Distinctions were presented for the first time in 1983.

The first laureate of the ANOC Merit Award was the late Juan Antonio Samaranch.

To date, over 190 ANOC Merit Awards have been awarded

See list of laureates