12 MAY 2007
I can think of no greater honor than to be the first recipient of the Global Humanitarian Award here at Ellis Island. I would like to sincerely thank Nasser Kazeminy and everyone at NECO for this award.
This island welcomed immigrants from all over the world searching for a more prosperous life, a land where they could freely exercise and enjoy their rights. So, it has been the gateway to this great country and to the cosmopolitan city of New York, which hosts the United Nations.
I would like to share this award with all those in the field whose efforts are essential but go unnoticed. More often than not, they risk their lives to ensure that those in the most dire need and danger receive the most basic assistance for their survival.
I would also like to share this honor with all the women of the world; most of whom remain vulnerable, whose rights are violated, and, who typically shoulder the heaviest burdens whether at home or outside.
It has been my mission for many years to promote the rights of women in all nations. I re-dedicate myself to this mission tonight and I hope you will all join me - as this certainly requires the collective effort of us all.