UN film wins 1st Place at 2015 MY HERO International Film Festival

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 the MY 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.

A version of the film has also appeared on UNTV’s flagship programme called 21st Century.

A recap of Wednesday’s highlights at the General Assembly

Halfway through the busiest week of the year at UN Headquarters in New York, our coverage of the week’s meetings and special events continued on our social media platforms. Here are some of the highlights:

As the world confronts the biggest refugee and migration crisis since the Second World War, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today convened a high-level meeting on the issue and outlined eight guiding principles to improve preparedness.

As preparations continue for next year’s World Humanitarian Summit, a high-level event convened by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs focused on the need for all actors to work together to address the growing needs around the globe which are due to a number of factors but mainly driven by armed conflict.

Also today, a ministerial meeting at the Security Council discussed the settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. The UN Secretary-General called for using all the tools available to the United Nations to help steer the Middle East and North Africa towards a path of freedom, safety and dignity, citing in particular the obligation of the international community to ensure a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria and accountability for serious crimes committed there.


In the early afternoon the Palestinian flag was raised for the first time at United Nations headquarters in New York. A few weeks earlier the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the flags of non-member observer States to be raised at the world body’s headquarters and offices following the flags of its 193 Member States.

Readouts from other events taking place today:

General Assembly quick links