Every year, thousands of aid workers around the world put their lives in danger daily to help people in need. Join us in congratulating one of them here, UN staffer Ken Payumo, who has received the “2015 Humanitarian Award” from theMY HERO International Film Festival.
In early 2014, Payumo, then an unarmed civilian, was in charge of the UN compound in Bor, South Sudan to which 12,000 civilians had fled to shelter from heavy fighting during the height of the violence that erupted in December 2013. At the time, Payumu found himself facing an official accompanied by 80 armed soldiers insisting on entering the compound. He feared that they would round up and kill many inside. Despite being threatened, he refused to let them in – and the civilians inside remained unharmed.
A short film about the incident, made for UNTV, has won 1st Place in the festival’s Human Rights category and also the Ron Kovic Peace Prize.
The newest addition to Central Park’s sculptural program will be unveiled Saturday 24 October in an historic ceremony presided over by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft, President of the Security Council Román Oyarzun, and President of the Economic and Social Council Mr. Oh Joon, together with New York City officials, including Commissioner for Department of Parks and Recreation Mitchell Silver.
The purpose of this installation is to be interactive, as it encourages the viewer to walk through the passageway of figures, posing with them or holding hands with the chain. Upon reaching the sphere of light, the viewer is faced with images that highlight the achievements and values of the UN, including the newly adopted #SDGs.
All are welcome to celebrate UN Day by attending the unveiling of Enlightened Universe. The event will take place this Saturday, 24 October at 4:30 p.m. [ceremony starts 5pm sharp!] at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, entrance near East 72nd and 5th Avenue. The sculpture will remain in New York through 15 November, after which it will be displayed in major cities across the globe.