For more than 20 years, the United Nations Foundation’s Global Leadership Awards have recognized the extraordinary contributions of individuals and organizations striving to further the work of the UN and advance its goal of 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.

About the Awards

Each award at “We The Peoples” is presented to an individual or organization demonstrating extraordinary leadership in an ever-changing world.

Our Champion of Global Change Award recognizes enlightened leadership in working towards a more prosperous and equitable world for us all. Previous honorees include UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, His Highness the Aga Khan, U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, and Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie.

We also seek to honor the extraordinary compassion, courage, and determination of UN frontline workers with our UN Heroes Award. The Leadership for a Better World Award honors extraordinary leaders across sectors, whose work creates a more sustainable world. Finally, the SDG Vanguard Award recognizes leaders whose work and impact reflects the urgency of the SDG agenda and the imperative to leave no one behind.

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Honorees included UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; Jack and Laura Dangermond, Sara Menker, Hickmatu Leigh, Dr. Fisk Johnson, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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Honorees included the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; Forest Whitaker, Founder and CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative; Mia Kami, artist and climate justice activist; the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Peace on Purpose | lululemon.

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Honorees included Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Human Rights Workers, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll).

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Honorees included Mary Robinson, UN Humanitarian Agencies (OCHA, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, and LexisNexis Legal & Professional.


Honorees included Kofi Annan, Aviva Inc., United Nations Peacekeeping, Senators Jeanne Shaheen & John Boozman, and Nawal Al-Maghafi.


Honorees included His Highness the Aga Khan, Ellie Goulding, Mars. Inc., United Nations Mine Action Service, and Senator Robert Corker.