World Leaders, United Nations Officials, and Today’s Top Innovators Gather for 55th Annual Global Leadership Dinner in NY

United Nations Foundation & United Nations Association Celebrate 15th Anniversary Of Ted Turner’s Historic $1 Billion Gift To Support Un Causes & 70th Year Of United Nations Association Of The Usa Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Variety, Johnson & Johnson, Former Chairman Of UNA-USA John C. Whitehead, Unido’s Kandeh Yumkella, And Human Rights Expert Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro To Be Honored For Their Global Leadership And Support Of The UN

New York, NY

October 16, 2012


Megan Rabbitt

Recognizing the United Nations’ vital role advancing peace, justice and prosperity, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA)  will tonight honor recipients of the 2012 Global Leadership Awards at  the annual Global Leadership Dinner in New York City.  The event marks the 15th anniversary of UN Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner’s $1 billion gift to support the UN, which led to the creation of the UN Foundation. The event also celebrates the 70th year of UNA-USA.

Ted Turner, UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth, UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin and UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden will join UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and nearly 500 policymakers, diplomats, UN supporters, business leaders and others in recognizing the honorees and the critical work of the United Nations. American actress, singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Monique Coleman will emcee the event.

“The United Nations is on the frontlines of today’s global challenges, promoting peace and prosperity,” said Senator Wirth. “Ted and our distinguished honorees remind us that we all have a role to play in helping the UN create a better world. Working together, a brighter future is within reach.”

Labeled one of “New York’s Top 100 events in 2012” by BizBash, the dinner is hosted by the UN Foundation and benefits UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms® Model UN program to provide education and leadership opportunities to under-resourced middle and high school students.  Together with the Better World Campaign, the organizations represent the largest network of UN supporters in the U.S.

“For seven decades, UNA-USA has invested in future generations of UN leaders,” said Madden. “The support from tonight’s event is critical to enabling our Global Classrooms® Model UN program to continue empowering today’s young minds to help bring fresh solutions to our most challenging global problems.”

The honorees that will be recognized during the dinner are:

•    Archbishop Desmond TutuNobel Peace Prize winner, recipient of the Champion for Global Change Award for his strong leadership as an advocate for human rights and global health, as well as for his campaigning against poverty, racism and sexism.
•    John C. WhiteheadFormer Chairman of UNA-USA, recognized for his dedicated service to UN and UNA-USA causes.
•    Kandeh K. YumkellaDirector-General for the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), recognized for his work on advancing sustainable energy for all, poverty reduction, the Millennium Development Goals and efforts to reduce the impact of climate change.
•    Varietythe entertainment industry’s preeminent news organization, recognized for its leadership in answering the UN Secretary-General’s call to activate the creative community in solving global problems.
•    Johnson & Johnsona global leader in healthcare, recognized for its steadfast commitment to global health and the UN.
•    Paulo Sérgio PinheiroChairman of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, will receive the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award for his more than 30 years of work in support of human rights, both at the UN and Inter-American systems.

Remarks from tonight’s honorees:

Changing the world takes time – but it does happen! I have seen amazing change in my lifetime thanks to the passion, commitment and dedication of people working together. The ocean is just drops of water, but together, it makes a wave. We are like drops of water. We may not feel very strong, but together we can achieve extraordinary things. I am deeply humbled by this award, and accept it by paying tribute to all those who work to make this blessed Earth a safer, more just and healthier place to live.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

I have spent my life supporting a strong U.S. voice in international diplomacy. The United States of America is at its best when it engages with other governments to solve global problems, and the most important forum for that collaboration is the United Nations. I am honored to receive this award tonight, and look forward to continued U.S. leadership at the UN in years ahead.” – John C. Whitehead

I am honored to receive this award and to serve the Secretary-General as a leader for his important global effort – Sustainable Energy For All.  I am ready to take this path-breaking initiative to the next level. We will continue to work with all key stakeholders to achieve sustainable energy for all and drive real action on the ground — action that transforms lives, communities, economies and the environment.  The challenge now is to ‘convert commitments to kilowatt hours for people everywhere.” – Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella

Tonight, we are honored to receive this award and are proud to shine a spotlight on the global issues that we all need to solve together.  We will continue to partner with the United Nations and the UN Foundation to mobilize the entertainment industry to take action in support of the fulfillment of the millennium development goals.” – Brian Gott, Publisher, Variety  

Johnson & Johnson is proud to work with the United Nations, the UN Foundation and other organizations to help millions of women and children through our commitment to Every Woman, Every Child. It is an honor to be recognized, but the true heroes are our partners who make this work possible, and the women of the world who stand-up for their children to ensure they have a healthier, happier future.”  – Alex Gorsky, CEO, Johnson & Johnson

It is a proud moment to be joining other prominent human rights advocates in receiving the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award. Standing up in support of, and giving voice to those that are not empowered by their governments is one of the most important actions we can take to help our fellow man.” – Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro


About United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach.  Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit

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

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