Annual Lunch Held on October 28; Fund Honored Navi Pillay and Angélique Kidjo
The annual luncheon of the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists was held on Tuesday, October 28, in the South Dining Room of the United Nations. During the event, the Fund acknowledged and honored the work of Ms. Navi Pillay, who served as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Grammy award winner Ms. Angélique Kidjo of Benin.
Evelyn Leopold, chair of the Fund, presented Navanetham "Navi" Pillay with the Dag Hammarskjöld Inspiration award for her championship of human rights worldwide, speaking truth to power and never shying away from controversy. Until her last day in office as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Pillay spoke her mind. Few countries escaped her bully pulpit and everyone listened. She has said she could only offer the facts, the law and common sense that should spur international action. Her toughness was earned the hard way.
A South African national, Ms. Pillay was born into apartheid and was the first woman to open a law practice in her country and appointed as a judge in the nation's high court. She began as a defense attorney for anti-apartheid activists, exposing torture and helping to establish rights for prisoners on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was kept. Since then she has held judgeships on U.N. tribunals, the International Criminal Court and has earned impressive degrees in jurisprudence.
Ms. Leopold presented Angélique Kidjo with the Chair Citation for her tireless advocacy of girls' education and her fearlessness in speaking out for the oppressed.
A dynamic singer and songwriter, Ms. Kidjo was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2002. She was born in Benin and began her career at age six by performing in her mother's theatre troupe. Her music is heavily influenced by West African rhythms and incorporates a range of other traditions, such as fund, rumba, salsa, jazz, souk and makossa. Ms. Kidjo has won a number of awards including the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music for her album Djin Djin. She is the first woman to be listed among "The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa" by Forbes Magazine. The Daily Telegraph in London describes her as "the undisputed queen of African music."
Ms. Kidjo travels widely and makes time to visit UNICEF projects while on her concert tours. In 2007, she co-founded the Botonga Foundation to provide African girls with secondary and higher education opportunities. To hear the remarks of Ms. Angelique Kidjo please click here or visit YouTube - Angélique Kidjo.
Luncheon guests also heard from the 2014 Hammarskjöld journalism program participants who spoke about their experiences at the U.N. covering the 68th General Assembly.
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2014 ANNUAL LUNCHEON MEETING
The Fund held its annual luncheon on October 28, 2014 at which Ms. Navi Pillay received the received the Dag Hammarskjöld Inspiration Award and Ms. Angélique Kidjo received the Chair Citation. The 2014 fellowship recipients also spoke at the luncheon. For more information about the luncheon, click here
If you wish to view photos from the 2014 luncheon, click here
The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists, a living memorial to the legacy of the second Secretary-General of the United Nation, is dedicated to the advancement of a fuller understanding of the deliberations of the United Nations as it seeks to alleviate human suffering and further world peace...Read More
Dag Hammarskjöld journalism fellowships are available to journalists of the developing nations of Africa, Asia (including Pacific Island nations), and Latin America/the Caribbean to cover the first 10 weeks of the U.N. General Assembly each fall (September-November). For more information go to Application Procedure.
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