UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs Marianna Vardinoyannis completed her visit to New York, in the framework of the 73rd UN General Assembly, by receiving two honorary distinctions, for her rich humanitarian work, from the Georgian and Romanian Governments, and by taking part in the 14o High Level Meeting of the International Organisation “Nizami Ganjavi International Centre

During a special event, organised by the “Nizami Ganjavi International Centre”, the International Organisation for the promotion of dialogue between peoples, the Georgian President, Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili paid tribute to Mrs Vardinoyannis for her entire work and service by conferring on her the highest distinction of the Presidency of the Republic of Georgia: the “Medal of Honour”. It is a special distinction, of great significance, which reflects the esteem Mrs. Vardinoyannis enjoys in Georgia.

During the award, the President of Georgia, made a special reference to a young patient from Georgia, the 16-year-old Egana, who was recently hospitalized at Marianna V. Vardinoyiannis – “ELPIDA” Children’s Oncology Unit. On the occasion of this incident, Mr Margvelashvili had even visited the Children’s Oncology Unit, and had the opportunity to personally become acquainted with the work of “ELPIDA” and that of Mrs Vardinoyannis.

“Please accept this prize as a thank you, a token of gratitude for everything you have done,” said Mr Margvelashvili while he was giving the “Medal of Honour” to Mrs Vardinoyannis.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis received the prize with obvious emotion and dedicated it to the children suffering from cancer, saying: “I dedicate this prize to the children suffering from cancer and especially to those who are forced to leave their country, their family and friends in order to be hospitalized in another country.”

On the margins of the work of the 14th High Level Meeting of the International Organization “Nizami Ganjavi International Centre”, Mrs. Vardinoyannis was also awarded by the Romanian Deputy Prime Minister, Mrs Ana Birchall, who, representing the Romanian Government, bestowed an honorary medal on Mrs. VardinoyannisMrs Birchal even extended an invitation to Mrs Vardinoyannis to visit Romania so as to lay the foundations of a cooperation with the Marianna V. Vardinoyiannis – “ELPIDA” Children’s Oncology Unit for the treatment of childhood cancer.

During the work of the Conference, Mrs Vardinoyannis, who is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the “Nizami Ganjavi International Centre”, was with Mrs Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, and the First Lady of the Republic of Cyprus, Mrs Antri Anastasiades, as they were the keynote opening speakers in the Conference unit on the theme of “Women Empowerment”.

“I always had faith in women and throughout my life I have tried to get the message across that women can do miracles.  All of us must defend the rights and choices of women.  Because when a woman is allowed to thrive, then so does also her family.  And when families progress, so do also our societies”, said Mrs Vardinoyannis, among other things.

It is worth noting that at the 14th High Level Meeting of the “Nizami Ganjavi International Centre” were also present, among others, the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitrarovic, the President of Georgia, Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Mr Boyko Borisov, the Romanian Deputy Prime Minister, Mrs Ana Birchal, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, former Vice-President of the World Bank.

During the opening of the Conference proceedings, Mrs Vardinoyannis bestowed the prize of the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation upon the representatives of the “Nizami Ganjavi” Organisation, Dr. Ismail Serageldin and Mr Zlatko Lagumdzija, former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina , as a sign of recognition of the work accomplished by “Nizami Ganjavi International Centre” in promoting international and constructive dialogue among the peoples.