December 9, 2021

We the Peoples 2021

United Nations Foundation



Date & Time

December 9, 2021
11:00AM EDT - 12:00PM EDT

For more than 20 years, the United Nations Foundation has recognized with its annual Global Leadership Awards the extraordinary contributions of individuals and organizations who have furthered the work of the United Nations and advanced its mission of creating a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world for everyone, everywhere.

Today, the Awards are presented at “We The Peoples,” a signature event named for the inspiring opening words of the UN Charter and honoring the profound vision of the UN’s founders: to save future generations from the scourge of war, reaffirm faith in human rights and equal rights, ensure justice and international law, and promote social progress and freedom.

While the pandemic will not allow us to gather in person this year, we believe it is more important than ever to showcase extraordinary leadership in a challenged world and as the global community seeks to tackle our greatest collective challenges and build a better future. We will feature the awards through a digital event on the eve of Human Rights Day with short videos highlighting each of our honorees.

Among our exceptional honorees, each year we celebrate UN Heroes whose dedication to the UN’s purpose and values is the lifeblood of its work.

This year, we also inaugurate a new SDG Vanguard Award to recognize leaders whose work and impact reflects the urgency of the SDG agenda and the imperative to leave no one behind.

watch the event recording


Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Director-General, World Trade Organization

Champion for Global Change Award

Professor Muhammad Yunus

Founder, Grameen Bank, and Nobel Laureate

Champion for Global Change Award

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Human Rights Workers

UN Heroes Award

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Accepted by Hoesung Lee, Chair

SDG Vanguard Award

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL)

Accepted by: Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, SEforALL

SDG Vanguard Award

Featured Speakers


Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations

Jay'len Boone

UNA-USA 2019-20 U.S. Youth Observer to the UN

Elizabeth Cousens

President and Chief Executive Officer, UN Foundation

Mark Malloch Brown

President, Open Society Foundations and Former UN Deputy Secretary-General

Rajesh Mirchandani

Chief Communications Officer, UN Foundation