The UN just gave Ambiga the 2018 United Nations Award


By Rachel Au

The UN just gave Ambiga the 2018 United Nations Award

How does the United Nations recognise who deserves its UN Award? Well, according to a statement by UN Malaysia, it “honours the outstanding contributions of individuals and organisations that embody the underlying principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in three categories, namely human rights and governance; leaving no one behind; and environmental sustainability,” as reported by MalaysiaKini.

And one such person who was deservedly given this award earlier today is none other than Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan for her contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If the name seems vaguely familiar, it’s because she was previously the chairman of the Bersih 2.0 electoral reforms group and the president of the Malaysia Bar from 2007 to 2009.

A relentless human rights activist with no fear or favour, her efforts for social justice have even been recognised by the French government that it awarded her the Chevalier de Legion d’ Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) in 2011 and before that, she received the US Secretary of State Award for International Women of Courage 2009.

So for her to receive this award, it’s a long time coming. Many took to Twitter to congratulate Ambiga after news of her award was announced, including Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development.

Presented in conjunction with the 73rd anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations charter, there were two other recipients for the 2018 UN Award: non-profit charity MyKasih Foundation and the National Ozone Unit of the Environment Department. The event also saw the unveiling of UN’s new logo which now includes 17 colours which represent the SDGs.

“Human rights and the SDGs are two sides of the same coin. The SDGs provide the targets, planning and monitoring mechanisms. While human rights arms us with the minimum standards, safeguards and legal backup to ensure that everybody benefits from the fruits of development,” said the UN resident coordinator in Malaysia, Stefan Priesner.

In a nutshell, congratulations Ambiga and keep up the amazing work!


Picture by Choo Choy May and Miera Zulyana via MalayMail
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