Image copyright AFP Image caption Mary Robinson is one of CNN’s 10 honorees
Al Jazeera’s Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and International Rescue Committee (IRC) executive vice president and chief executive David Miliband have been honoured with the accolade CNN’s first list of honorees for the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural CNN International Humanitarian Awards.
Five days before Christmas, CNN announced the upcoming selection of individuals and organisations receiving CNN International’s first global humanitarians award. The annual awards are made in conjunction with multiple partner UN organisations: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Children’s Fund (UNICEF), The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Trust Fund (UNHCRF), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Other participants to have received CNN’s first global humanitarians award in the past include former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former and current Chief Executive of International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, Sir Richard Branson, the Chair of Virgin Group and former Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Sir John Major, as well as UNICEF (now UNICEF International), WHO (World Health Organization), Doctors Without Borders, and The Band Aid Trust.
CNN stated: “The greatest ability we all have is to offer our help to one another. The CNN Humanitarian Awards celebrate the very best in global humanitarian action, recognising the individuals, organisations and projects who continue to make a real difference to people around the world. The CNN Humanitarian Awards honour the long-term commitment to humanitarian action.”
CNN’s full list of honorees is as follows:
Mary Robinson is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Ireland. Born in Dublin in 1947, Robinson has dedicated her life to humanitarian work on behalf of peace and human rights.
She has worked with the UN at every level including political, scientific, economic and cultural staffs, supporting humanitarian causes. An outspoken advocate for environmental causes, she has conducted more than 300 round-the-world expeditions and served as a Special Envoy to over 25 countries. Robinson is currently Founder, President, and Honorary Chair of the Commission on Human Rights at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Mary Robinson received the 2016 New York Peace Prize, the 2015 Ebenezer Medal from the Aspen Institute, the 2015 Humanitas Prize, the 2015 We CARE Award, the 2013 National Equality Award and the 2010 Naacp Peace Medal. She was the host of the second annual Women of the Year and has been the keynote speaker at various world events such as G8, G20, UN General Assembly, African Union, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Mary Robinson spent some ten years as President of Ireland from 1990-95. During her term, Ireland played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace process and strongly supported the establishment of the European Union.
Mary Robinson was appointed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (then Commission on Human Rights) on 2 July 1992 and was one of the few UN commissioners to have worked for their office for a full five years. She was the first woman and the first former president appointed by the United Nations to the post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mary Robinson served a second term from January 1999 to December 2001.
David Miliband, the son of Welsh immigrants to the UK, is the executive vice president and chief executive officer of The International Rescue Committee. David began his career at McKinsey & Company. Prior to joining The International Rescue Committee in 2009, David was the UK’s Minister for Africa and a Member of Parliament. He is a former president of the international environment group, The Natural Resources Defense Council, the first ever UN Foundation Goodwill Ambassador and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
David was named a “Leader to Watch” by World Affairs Journal in 2005 and has appeared on the BBC’s flagship political and current affairs news programme, Daily Politics, on BBC Radio 4 and Politics Daily on Channel 4. He was also named by Newsweek and The Daily Telegraph as one of the world’s most influential journalists.
Click here to learn more
The humanitarians and organisations they were honoured with were selected by the CNN Editorial Advisory Board. Their recommendation was evaluated by a panel of three world-renowned journalists and won the recommendation from the CNN Editorial Advisory Board and all the members of the international advisory board. The Editorial Advisory Board, which includes former CNN Anchors, Anchormen, Plcchs and former UN Hominists and Representatives of UNHCR and UNICEF, is open to non-CNN employees.