UN Foundation Honors Global Leaders on the Eve of the UN’s 75th Anniversary

Annual awards ceremony recognizes leaders on the frontlines of global progress

New York, NY

November 20, 2019


Megan Rabbitt

The United Nations Foundation will honor global leaders including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Mary Robinson at its annual awards ceremony tonight. On the eve of the United Nations’ 75th anniversary, this year’s ceremony is called We the Peoples to honor the founding ideals and vision articulated in the UN Charter. The honorees – advocates, business leaders, UN humanitarian workers, and more – strive for a more equitable and sustainable world.

We the Peoples will include remarks by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed. Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, will be honored with the Champion of Global Change Award for her tireless leadership on climate justice and human rights. Additionally, four UN staff members who have worked on the frontlines of crisis response will accept the UN Heroes Award on behalf of UN humanitarian agencies.

From transforming the global food system to defending human rights to using literature to connect with individuals on issues of equality, the We the Peoples honorees continue to make invaluable contributions to our world. Their work brings to life the goals enshrined in the UN Charter – to promote peace, justice, and fundamental human rights for all people.

The honorees recognized at the event will include:

  • UN humanitarian agencies will be recognized with the UN Heroes Award for their staff’s compassion and courage working on the frontlines of crisis response. The award will be presented by Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, and accepted on behalf of UN humanitarian agencies by Ms. Godelieve Sipula, OCHA; Ms. Shameza Abdulla, UNICEF; Mr. Bashar Alhrout, WFP; and Ms. Maria Clara Martin, UNHCR.
  • Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders; Former President of Ireland, and UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, will be recognized with the Champion of Change Award for her lifetime commitment to the issues of human rights, gender equity, peace building, and climate justice.
  • Gunhild Stordalen, Chair of the Stordalen Foundation and Founder of EAT, will be recognized with a Global Leadership Award for her groundbreaking work transforming the global food system and its impact on the planet.
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author and feminist leader, will be recognized with a Global Leadership Award for her work using literature and storytelling to connect with people across generations and cultures on issues of gender and racial equality.
  • Mike Walsh, CEO LexisNexis Legal & Professional, will be recognized with a Global Leadership Award for the company’s extraordinary commitment to advancing the rule of law globally by strengthening equality under the law, transparency of law, independent judiciaries, and accessible legal remedy.

“We look forward to celebrating our award honorees and thanking them for their extraordinary leadership,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “These leaders are committed to standing up for what unites us all – a safer and more prosperous world.”

We the Peoples is made possible by our partners including Cisco, Essity, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, Salesforce, and Verizon Communications. The ceremony will be co-hosted by Laura Turner Seydel, Chair, Captain Planet Foundation, and Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon Communications.


About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation acts as a strategic partner to help the United Nations mobilize the ideas, people, and resources it needs to drive global progress and tackle urgent challenges. We focus on issues at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and engage citizens who seek action. Founded in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner, the UN Foundation works with philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual partners. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.

Media Contact:

Serena Jiwani

UN Foundation

Email: sjiwani@unfoundation.org

Phone: 202-854-2355