The chef, who has 25 restaurants across eight countries, including his eponymous restaurant at The Dorchester in London, earned three Michelin stars at the age of 33 for Le Louis XV restaurant at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and has seen his restaurants score 14 positions on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list since it was introduced in 2002.
He follows a list of award-winners, who include Paul Bocuse, Gualtiero Marchesi, Joel Robuchon, Juan Mari Arzak and Thomas Keller to have received the accolade.
Accepting the Diners Club International-sponsored award, Ducasse paid tribute to Bocuse, its first ever recipient who himself recognises future talent through the bi-annual Bocuse d'Or competition.
"Through him, I also think of the generations of chefs who have preceded me and to whom I fell the heir and successor," he said. "At the same time, I still feel like a young man and remain much more interested by the work to be done than by that already accomplished."
Ducasse's restaurant group, Alain Ducasse Enterprise is made up of 25 restaurants, three inns, an independent hotel association, a culinary publishing house and a culinary training centre for chefs.
Chefs who claim to have been inspired by Ducasse include Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana and Noma's Rene Redzepi, who grew up reading the French chef's cookbooks.
Ducasse has a 'glocal' approach- a global vision of what's going on globally but operating locally - to restaurants. "In each of my restaurants the chef is the conduit between nature and culture," he said. "The question of the wise use of the planet's resources is essential to me."
Following the announcement of the award, Restaurant magazine editor William Drew said: "We are delighted that this prestigious accolade is going to one of the greatest chefs in France, and indeed the world. The Lifetime Achievement Award is voted for by industry experts from across the globe - chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and critics and well-travelled gourmets - and such this is an acknowledgement from the restaurant world itself or chef Ducasse's achievements and positive influence."
The World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2013 will take place in London on 29 April. BigHospitality will be reporting news from the event live on the night via our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.