UN honours Bill and Melinda Gates and Asian lawmakers’ group with population award

Bill and Melinda Gates. Photo: Kjetil Ree

9 March 2010 – The United Nations is recognizing philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development with this year’s Population Award.

Established by the General Assembly in 1981, the UN Population Award is given annually to individuals and institutions for outstanding contributions to population concerns and their solutions.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife founded and chair the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has long been working on a “simple premise: all lives have equal value. Today, billions of people never have the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which presents the award.

Mr. and Mrs. Gates will share the award with the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD). According to the statement released today, AFPPD is honoured for its commitment to informing, educating, motivating and involving parliamentarians on issues related to reproductive health, family planning, food security, ageing, urbanization, migration, HIV and AIDS and women's empowerment.

The awards are scheduled to be presented during a ceremony on 3 June at UN Headquarters in New York.

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) elects countries to serve on the award committee for three-year terms. The current members are Bangladesh, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Norway and Tanzania. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid are ex-officio members.

Last year, the Secretary-General presented the award to Egyptian doctor Mahmoud Fathalla and Nicaraguan non-profit Movimiento Comunal Nicaragüense (MCN).


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