|Sir Roger and Lady Kristina Moore with UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman (centre), who toasted Sir Roger on his award and other milestones.|
By Chris Niles
NEW YORK, USA, 25 October 2007 – “I’ve been an exceedingly lucky actor, and the luck of it all was that I was able to come and work for UNICEF,” said Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore as he received the Dag Hammarskjöld Inspiration Award at a ceremony in New York today.
The prestigious humanitarian award is presented in memory of the second United Nations Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld, who served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961.
Sir Roger, only the second recipient of the award, received it for his work with UNICEF on behalf of the world’s children.
“It is an enormous privilege to receive this award in honour of Dag Hammarskjöld,” said the veteran actor and child advocate. “He devoted his life, as short as it was, to improving the world for people. He died long before he should have done, working for that cause.”
|At the award ceremony for Sir Roger Moore, from left: Sir Roger, Lady Kristina Moore, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children.|
‘The truth will eventually win’
The award to Sir Roger was announced at the annual luncheon of the Dag Hammarskjöld Scholarship Fund for Journalists. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan attended, along with UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman and other dignitaries.
The Secretary General couldn't resist referring to Sir Roger's former career, saying “My name is Ban, not James Bond.”
“I was told never to work with animals and children. They didn’t tell me not to follow a Secretary General,” quipped Sir Roger.
Sir Roger paid tribute to the young journalists supported by the fund, who are given the chance to work at the UN, and encouraged them to continue the mission charted by Mr. Hammarskjöld.
“He wanted the world to know the truth and the world to be improved upon,” Sir Roger said. “To the recipients of the scholarship I would say: Continue, continue to tell the truth. The truth will eventually win.”
|A cake for Sir Roger’s 80th birthday capped the luncheon where he received the Dag Hammarskjöld Inspiration Award.|
Celebrating three milestones
At the award ceremony, Sir Roger also revealed another important life achievement that occurred earlier this month, when he received his own star on Hollywood Boulevard. And Ms. Veneman announced a third milestone: Sir Roger’s 80th birthday.
“He is passionate, he is compassionate. He is a champion for children,” she said as a three-tiered cake was wheeled out, bearing – among other decorations – the colours of UNICEF. “Today we’re here to toast not only his award, but this very special important time in his life. Happy birthday to you.”
Sir Roger Moore to receive Hammarskjöld Award [with video]