The Words of the Kagawa Family

H.E. Mr. Al-Nasser Receives Leadership and Good Governance Award

Genie Kagawa
November 15, 2012
UPF Office of UN Relations

New York, USA -- Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser received UPF's prestigious Leadership and Good Governance Award at a special Award Ceremony held at the Millennium Hotel near the United Nations on November 15. On behalf of the UPF founders, the Award was presented by UPF's President, Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, and Secretary General, Mr. Taj Hamad.

H.E. Mr. Al-Nasser served as the President of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and now serves as the High Representative Designate of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

UPF presented this award to H.E. Mr. Al-Nasser in honor of his service as President of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly at a time of great upheaval and turmoil in the world. That session shaped a time in history that will remain in people's minds for decades to come. It was a time of extremes, in climate as well as in social issues, such as extreme poverty, the severe financial crisis, and eruption of deep conflicts such as the ongoing violence in Syria. At the same time, the extraordinary phenomena of the Arab Spring inspired people to stand tall in their quest for freedom and dignity, justice, and peace.

It was in this environment that President Al-Nasser worked to develop a new paradigm for addressing conflicts by promoting dialogue among civilizations as a complementary approach to existing channels of conflict prevention, mediation, and peaceful resolution. He was able to forge closer ties with the NGO community by convening a "town hall" meeting with NGO representatives and engaging them as indispensable partners in building bridges of trust and cooperation that are necessary if the United Nations is to achieve its goal of bringing peace to the world.

In addition, President Al-Nasser organized an innovative celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week to affirm the value of religion and inter-religious dialogue and cooperation in peace-building. In this context, he encouraged faith leaders to assist in strengthening the pillars of his presidency: mediation of conflict, disaster prevention and response, sustainable development, and revitalization of the United Nations. He encouraged political consensus in the General Assembly for strengthening the governance of financial institutions in order to address the global financial crisis. He supported the work of UN Women in empowering women to address violence against women throughout the world.

In his Congratulatory Remarks, H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, supported UPF's choice this year for the award with enthusiasm, saying that: "H.E. Mr. Al-Nasser has left a deep mark on the work of the United Nations General Assembly. A person in this position needs to reach out and understand people of different religions or of different sides of the aisle. It has been a time of great turbulence. In his future role at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, he will play in important role in a difficult time with a big task on his plate."

H.E. Mr. Gyan Chandra Achayra, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Least Developed, Landlocked Developing, and Small Island States, in his remarks, stated that H.E. Mr. Al-Nasser "provided leadership in a critical time with great distinction and in adherence to the principles of the United Nations. He fully understood the nexus between peace and security and was equally aware of the issues of sustainable development; he organized programs and made valuable statements prior to Rio+20. We are looking for global understanding and global stability, and it is fitting that he is taking that role through his promotion of understanding and solidarity around the world."

Dr. Hanifa Mezoui, Permanent Representative of the International Association of the Economic and Social Councils to the UN and ECOSOC, affirmed that H.E. Mr. Al-Nasser spread humanistic and moral values in his work through his emphasis on tolerance, compassion, and respect for all humanity. Noting his work ethic and insights into crucial issues, she paid tribute to his good nature, humility, enthusiasm for new ideas, and approaches aimed at improving people's lives.

In his acceptance speech, H.E. Al-Nasser mentioned: "It was the overriding goal throughout my term as President of the General Assembly to apply these very principles of sound leadership and good governance to the challenges and issues facing the United Nations and its Member States."

True to the English translations of the Arabic names of H.E. Mr. Al-Nasser and his wife Muna, UPF representatives wished him the fulfillment of his dreams and desires and a life as prosperous as an "overflowing spring."

The Leadership and Good Governance Award is UPF's most distinguished award. UPF views good leadership and governance as essential to the task of building a lasting world of peace for all people. Honorees are carefully selected from people who have demonstrated exemplary capacity as visionary and competent leaders in various fields, manifesting both external excellence and internal excellence and upholding universal moral and spiritual values.

The event was attended by Permanent Representatives of Member States, the UN Secretariat staff, representatives of the NGO community, and leaders in business and the media. 

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