The citation of the award, announced Wednesday, noted that UNICEF’s contribution to “improving the health and living conditions of millions of children worldwide, focusing especially on the needs of the most impoverished areas of the world, such as the African continent, where wars, famine, AIDS and the dearth of education, amongst other serious problems, are the biggest hindrances to child development.”
“UNICEF is honoured to receive this award,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said Wednesday. “We are grateful to the Prince of Asturias Foundation for recognizing UNICEF's work on behalf of children, and for bringing greater attention to the needs of the world’s children.”
The Prince of Asturias Award for Concord is “bestowed upon the person, persons or institution whose work has made an exemplary and outstanding contribution to mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence amongst men, to the struggle against injustice, poverty, disease or ignorance, to the defence of freedom, or whose work has widened the horizons of knowledge or has been outstanding in protecting and preserving mankind’s heritage".
Other winners of the 2006 awards include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (International Cooperation), National Geographic (Communication and Humanities); Pedro Almodovar (Arts); Mary Robinson (Social Sciences); the Spanish National basketball team (Sports); Juan Ignacio Cirac (Technical and Scientific Research) and Paul Auster (Literary).
Past winners award, now in its 26th year, include Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul (2005); Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said (2002); Cáritas Española, (1999).
The presentation ceremony will take place October 20 in Oviedo, capital of the Principality of Asturias. The solemn academic ceremony will be presided over by the heir to the throne of Spain, HRH Prince of Asturias, D. Felipe de Borbón y Grecia in the presence of the King and Queen of Spain.
“On behalf of children living in poverty, children who are not able to go to school, children affected by AIDS, UNICEF thanks the Prince of Asturias Foundation for this recognition,” said Veneman. “It is also a testament to the Spanish royal family’s extraordinary commitment to children.”
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information, please contact:
Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media, Tel: 212 326 7452, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prince of Asturias Foundation
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UNICEF wins prestigious Asturias Award [with video]