UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, attended the annual charity dinner organised by the international non-profit organisation “Global Hope Coalition”, on the margins of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, on Thursday 27 September 2018.

At this special event, organised with the cooperation of the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism, and centered on peace and the creation of a better world, leaders and activists from all over the world, received awards for their contribution to dialogue and cooperation between peoples.

This year’s Global Hope Coalition awards were given: to the President of Niger, Mr Mahamadou Issoufou for his contribution to the development of better soci-economic conditions in Niger, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mrs. Sheikh Hasina, for her handling of the refugee crisis on the borders of Bangladesh, as well as to the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Alexis Tsipras, for his handling of the refugee crisis in the  the Mediterranean in partnership with the European Commission.

The Greek Prime Minister dedicated the prize to his people for the way they “embraced” the refugees who arrived in Greece, while he remarked that throughout history Greeks have proved to be a people with humaneness and solidarity.

Apart from political leaders, the Global Hope Coalition also awardedthe “Heroes against Extremism, that is, people who, by their example, have become models against violence and intolerance.

Among those presented with a prize were, the French Mahadou Gassama, who had already received a similar distinction by French President, Emmanuel Macron, because he had not hesitated to climb a balcony to save a baby in danger, the Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the first female rabbi, Mrs. Delphine Horvilleur, and many others.

As UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and as member of the Leadership Council of the Global Hope Coalition, Mrs Vardinoyannis was invited to give the prize “Heroes against Extremism” to Mrs Bochra Belhaj Hmida.  Bochra Belhaj Hmida, βουλευτή από την Τυνησία και Πρόεδρο της Επιτροπής Ατομικών Ελευθεριών και Ισότητας.  The Tunisian MP has been campaigning for women’s rights for many years, while recently she recommended the legislative enshrinement of women’s rights in the Constitution of her country.

“The work and the personality of Bochra Belhaj Hmida are a source of inspiration for us all.  Mankind needs personalities who fight for a better future”, said Mrs Vardinoyannis during the award.

While she was receiving the prize from Mrs Vardinoyannis, Mrs Bochra Belhaj Hmida  said that she was profoundly moved by the award and this great honour paid to her by Mrs Vardinoyannis, who is a personality who has earned international acclaim for her great service and social work.

It is worth noting that the Global Hope Coalition is an international non-profit organization with representation in New York, Zurich and Hong Kong, which aims to create a platform to support people who fight against violence and terrorism, and whose work builds bridges between cultures.