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.
2014 Journalism Fellows
Ana Maria (Ayee) Macaraig, 27, is a multi-media journalist for Rappler in the Philippines. She is a one-woman team, filing photos, video clips, blogs and investigative stories. She has covered national corruption scandals, debates on reproductive health, human rights and developments in Myanmar. She graduated magna cum laude from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in communication, minor in philosophy.
Olufemi Akande, 29, is a reporter for TVC News of Nigeria, a Pan-African television news channel. He has covered the brutal civil war in the Central African Republic, the political impasse in Guinea as well as the violence of the Boko Haram sect in northern Nigeria. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kogi State in Anyigba, Nigeria.
Abdel Aziz Hali, 34, is a journalist at the international news desk of La Presse of Tunisia. He has worked as a reporter on social change and the upheavals in his country. Mr. Hali won Monaco’s Anna Lindh award for his article, “Once upon a time two revolutions.” He has degrees in science, including geology, mines, petroleum from the Faculty of Science, Tunis, and has lectured in these fields.
Tuan Anh Pham, 33, is deputy editor-in-chief of the online news outlet, Dan tri of Vietnam and a multi-media reporter. He has covered international issues, environment and technology, including a trip to the Philippines to research “golden rice” plantations. Mr. Pham has two bachelor degrees from Australian institutions: the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and La Trobe University.
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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 and Latin America 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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