Global Leadership Dinner Celebrates and Inspires Support for United Nations

United Nations Foundation And UNA-USA Honor Leadership On Global Issues

New York, NY

October 20, 2014


Serena Jiwani

The United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) will host the 2014 Global Leadership Dinner Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, in New York to recognize the achievement of leaders from multiple sectors who have helped tackle the world’s most pressing challenges . The gathering represents a moment to honor and thank those from all walks of life who help the United Nations do its vital work in achieving short-term humanitarian goals and long-term development goals.

The 2014 Global Leadership Dinner honorees include:

  • Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Amos will be honored for her remarkable leadership of cross-sectoral global relief efforts in response to multiple humanitarian crises. As the coordinating body for the humanitarian relief system, OCHA leads efforts in emergencies around the world, including in Iraq, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Syria. This award recognizes the vital importance of Amos’ leadership at OCHA, including engaging diverse partners in humanitarian relief.
  • Justice Michael Kirby, UN Commissioner, Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Kirby will receive the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award for his leadership of the Commission’s investigation into human rights violations in North Korea, as well as his efforts as Special Representative for Human Rights and Commissioner on the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. Released this year, the landmark report on North Korea documents a vast array of abuses including summary executions and torture. Kirby, a consistent voice for human rights, chaired the commission and has used his voice to speak up for action to protect the human rights of North Koreans and to hold perpetrators responsible.
  • Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. Polman will be presented with the Champion for Global Change Award for his longstanding personal commitment to sustainable development, his role in galvanizing the global community around the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and his leadership in the discussion around the role of the private sector in addressing climate change and adapting sustainability as a guiding principal for growth. This award recognizes Polman’s leadership both at Unilever and in the global community, as well as his invaluable work to highlight issues important to the United Nations and his role on the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
  • Merck & Co. Merck will be recognized for its corporate commitment to global health and for putting women’s and children’s health at the center of its work. Merck’s early support of Every Woman Every Child led private sector investments and catalyzed the groundbreaking Merck for Mothers effort. An industry leader on family planning, Merck has provided price reductions on contraceptives as part of the Pledge Guarantee for Health and has made a long-term commitment through Family Planning 2020 to increase access to and education about family planning services in resource-limited settings. Merck has also been a dedicated investor in the Measles & Rubella Initiative.
  • Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). Sen. Murphy and Congressman Kinzinger will be honored for their commitment to a strong American leadership at the UN. Senator Murphy is a vocal advocate for women’s health and equality, and a dedicated supporter of UNFPA. He introduced bipartisan legislation focused on cutting short-lived climate pollutants, which account for at least 40 percent of global warming. Congressman Kinzinger is a strong backer of UN peacekeeping as a mechanism for promoting stability in fragile states. He traveled with the UN Foundation to Liberia to learn about the UN peacekeeping mission there, and his experiences have helped guide his response to the Ebola outbreak.
  • Rana Abdelhamid , a student at Middlebury College who is a Truman Scholar and Pickering Fellow, will receive the Leo Nevas Youth Advocate for Human Rights Award for raising awareness of the UN and human rights mechanisms. Growing up in New York City to Egyptian parents, Abdelhamid became interested in the issue of gender-based violence both in Egypt and in her local community in Queens. As a black belt in Karate, she founded the Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), a self-defense, leadership and entrepreneurship program for young Muslim women that has engaged hundreds of young women through its summer fellowship and mentorship programming and is establishing chapters across the U.S.

“Our esteemed honorees have each contributed in significant and very different ways to the success of the United Nations’ goals for helping people around the world live healthier, more productive lives,” said Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the UN Foundation. “Their leadership goes even further by inspiring other individuals, companies, and organizations to get involved in helping to solve the world’s most pressing global issues.”

In addition to drawing attention to the work of the UN and supporters who are helping the UN build a better and more prosperous future, the Global Leadership Dinner raises funds to benefit UNA-USA and its work to inform, educate, and inspire Americans in support of the UN.

Tweet this: #GlobalLeadership honorees leading the effort to build a future we all want:

About the United Nations Association of the United States of America

The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. Learn more about UNA-USA’s programs and initiatives at

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations. The United Nations Foundation is honored to work with the United Nations to foster a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. Learn more about its mission, its relationship with the UN, as well as the campaigns and initiatives it has developed and sponsored to connect with the UN’s work.