Leo Nevas Human Rights Award
nevas-awardThe Leo Nevas Human Rights Award was launched by the Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force in 2007 to honor its longest-serving board member Leo Nevas, a lawyer and human rights advocate. Mr. Nevas was a proponent of the importance of the United Nations' principles and his commitment made it possible to support human rights through education and advocacy – a legacy encouraging global citizenship. The award recognizes those who have served as agents of change in advancing international human rights.

"It's ... a great honor to receive this award from an organization whose leaders and members I admire and whose goals I heartily embrace.”

- Ambassador Samanatha Power, Nov. 2013

Past recipients include:

Awardees Making the News

Syria Conflict: UN's Pinheiro Gives Jihadist Warning
October 16, 2012
BBC News

A UN commission on human rights abuses in Syria has warned of the increasing risk of foreign Islamist militants radicalising the conflict. Read more.

Asma Jahangir: Pakistan's Bravest Jurist

January 17, 2012
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, The InterDependent

Asma Jahangir launched her first legal battle when she was just 20 years old, without ever going to law school. It was 1972, and the Pakistani government of then-President Zulifkae Ali Bhutto had just detained Jahangir's father, a member of the political opposition. Read more.

Pakistani Activist Honored With Human Rights Award
November 15, 2011
Dr. Isobel Coleman, Council on Foreign Relations blog post

Dr. Jahangir, who lives in Lahore, was in New York to receive the prestigious Leo Nevas Human Rights Award from the UN Association of the United States. During her acceptance speech, she humbly demurred, saying that while she has devoted much of her life to airing human rights grievances, especially in Pakistan, she has not done enough to improve the dismal situation of human rights around the world. Read more.

Pakistani Activist Honored with Human Rights Award
November 10, 2011
Annie Ali Khan, blog post on Asia Blog

Asma Jahangir, Pakistani human rights activist and outgoing president of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association, was awarded the 2011 United Nations Association of USA (UNA-USA) Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force award November 9 at a special ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in New York. Read more.

UNA-USA Honors Human Rights Activists

The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force awarded Dr. Asma Jahangir with the 2011 Leo Nevas Human Rights Award and Karen Woodin-Rodriguez with the 2011 Youth Award. Jahangir, former UN Special Rapporteur and prominent human rights lawyer, spoke to a large audience about the challenges she faced as an international monitor on human rights and as an activist promoting domestic reforms and rule of law in Pakistan. Read the press release.

Kati Marton: Lessons I learned from Richard Holbrooke
June 8, 2011
Mark Leon Goldberg

On Monday, the journalist Kati Marton received the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of the United States. Marton is a long time human rights champion and is also the widow of the late Richard Holbrooke. Her acceptance speech, reprinted below in full, is a powerful read. Read more.

The Secretary-General's Message to the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award Luncheon
June 6, 2011
As delivered by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

I am pleased to send my greetings to all those gathered for the Leo Nevas Human Rights award luncheon. This ceremony is a fitting living tribute to a man who dedicated much of his life to promoting human rights and the values and goals of the United Nations. I congratulate this year's award winners, Kati Marton and Ryan Kaminski. Read more.

Facts Are a Dictator's Worst Enemy; and a Journalist's Best Friend
June 6, 2011
Kati Marton, The Huffington Post

This is a great honor -- and one I really am humbled to receive. All I can say is that I will use the Leo Nevas Prize -- and Leo's wonderful example of a life well lived in the service of Human Rights -- as a spur to do more. We are living an exciting and dangerous moment in history. We are witnessing Arabs from Tunisia to Syria, and the nations in between, rise up and claim their human rights and dignity. There has perhaps never been a time when we needed to speak truth not only to power, but to the millions of people who are connected in our wired world. That is the role of journalists -- my chosen field. I never regarded that role as morally neutral. Read more.

Trinity Student Speaks at a United Nations Association Gala
December 7, 2009
Allison Pickens

Trinity's Ibrahim Diallo '11 was invited to speak at a United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) and the Business Council for the United Nations' 51st annual Global Leadership Awards Gala in New York City. Diallo's invitation stemmed from the inaugural Leo Nevas Human Rights Young Advocate Award, which Diallo was awarded last year. Read more.

The Secretary-General's Remarks at the 51 Annual UNA-USA/BCUN Global Leadership Awards Gala
November 23, 2009

Read the full speech here.

The United Nations Association of the USA announces the second annual Leo Nevas Human Rights Award
December 10, 2008

The United Nations Association of the USA announces the second annual Leo Nevas Human Rights Award, given posthumously to the Honorable Tom Lantos, and presents its first annual Leo Nevas Human Rights Young Advocate award to Ibrahim Diallo. Lantos was a member of the US House of Representatives (D-CA) from 1981 until his death last February and the only Holocaust survivor to be elected to Congress. During his legislative career, Lantos was chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, where he worked for more than 25 years to protect the rights of some of the world's most vulnerable populations. His wife, Mrs. Annette Lantos, will accept the award on his behalf. Read more.
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