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Celebrating 75 Years of Global Leadership

UN Foundation arranged the annual UN Foundation Global Leadership Dinner to commemorate the effort made by the UN, its cutting-edge partners, and leaders that have had a positive impact on the world the past year. The theme of this years’ dinner was named “We the Peoples” to highlight the importance of the UN’s effort for the last 75 years to include everyone and leaving no one behind. It is, we the peoples, that enables the UN to transform the world to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights. This year the Global Leadership Award went to Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, Chair of Stordalen Foundation and Founder of EAT Forum, award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and LexisNexis Legal & Professional Michael Walsh, CEO. The UN Heroes Award, which recognizes frontline humanitarian efforts, went to outstanding workers from UNHCR, UNICEF, OCHA, and WFP. Finally, the Champion for Global Change Award went to Mary Robinson, who is among other things, Chair for “The Elders”, and former President of Ireland.  

                               Seton Hall University’s Father Brian and Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson 

The dinner officially started with some well-selected opening remarks from H.E. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Ms. Amina Mohammed recognized the effort the UN had made the last seven decades but pointed out that none of this would have been possible if “We the Peoples” from all around the world did not work as one unity. 

One of the most remarkable speeches was given by award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Ms. Adichie said that “we are living in difficult times, and we seem to be breathing the air of discontent, but it is important to remember that parlays times are also oftentimes of opportunity. I know about women who have become motivated, who might not have become motivated politically had they not encountered the possible loss of their rights.” She discusses how gender inequality can still be experienced today and very much so in her own field of literature. She makes the remark that “men read literature written by men and women read literature written by men AND women. We need to change that.” 

                                      Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Receiving the Global Leadership Award 

There is an underlying reason behind the sustainable food, the formal introduction, and countless handshakes that took place throughout the night. Everything has its place and purpose. The UN Foundation is a pioneer in bringing the private and public sectors together to establish innovative and efficient partnerships that generate results that resonate throughout the world. The UN Foundation facilitates business solutions with a clear purpose to help reach the SDGs, tackle climate change, and other UN priorities.  

In 2018, the UN Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary and has been able to accomplish major achievements. To spotlight a few; mobilizing over two billion dollars, started numerous initiatives, and established countless partnerships to support the UN and UN causes. The UN Foundation creates a platform for people to share ideas, stories, and experiences to strengthen the work of the UN and help it reach its goals. The most important thing is to understand the value of the people you surround yourself with and that everybody needs to be included to reach unprecedented heights. It is up to us. We the Peoples.  

The article was written by David Gutierrez Arvidsson, Master of Arts candidate in International Relations and Diplomacy with specializations in Latin America and the Caribbean and Post-Conflict State Reconstruction & Sustainability. He is also the UN Youth Representative for the Center for UN and Global Governance Studies at Seton Hall University.

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