The first Rose d’Or Charity Award, presented on the occasion of the International Festival de la Rose d’Or in Lucerne, Switzerland on 17 April 2004, was conferred on the recently deceased UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Peter Ustinov. UNICEF also received recognition as an organization: The first Bal de la Rose d’Or was held as a benefit for the United Nations Children’s Fund. Both the award and the benefit ball were firsts in the 43-year history of the Festival de la Rose d’Or, which is the biggest international event in the world of television entertainment.
Sir Peter Ustinov was honoured for his humanitarian commitment. Sir Peter heard about the honour to be bestowed upon him before he died on 29 March, and remarked: “I have received many prizes in my life, but to be recognised for my work as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador is very special to me.” Sir Peter supported the cause of children worldwide for more than 30 years.
Present at the award ceremony were Sir Peter Ustinov’s son Igor Ustinov as well as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Harry Belafonte, Sir Roger Moore and Nana Mouskouri, and UNICEF supporters Nina Ruge and Christopher Lee.
For the last fifty years, famous celebrities have lent their support to UNICEF. Danny Kaye was the first to embrace the cause of the organisation in 1954. Many have followed him: the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn, the unmistakable and highly esteemed Sir Peter Ustinov, the grand voices Nana Mouskouri and Harry Belafonte, the famous actor Sir Roger Moore, and the German television presenter Nina Ruge. Other celebrities have also given their support, such as actor Christopher Lee who, although not a Goodwill Ambassador, has shown his commitment to UNICEF on numerous occasions. They all use their name and fame to support UNICEF and lend their voice on behalf of the children of the world.
The award ceremony, which attracted 1,800 people from the television industry, the media and the public, was followed by a benefit ball for UNICEF. It raised more than 90 thousand dollars, which will go to various UNICEF-projects, in particular to projects supporting girls` education, vaccination programmes, and emergency relief, and to projects combating female genital mutilation, child trafficking and child labour.
Elsbeth Müller, executive director of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF, said: “Helping children is the foundation for a better world. Sir Peter was committed to building a better world. It is now up to us to continue in his spirit.”