Known worldwide as “the Greatest”, three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali (USA) was designated UN Messenger of Peace in 1998. Spending most of his time outside the boxing ring devoted to the pursuit of peace, Mr. Ali first came to the UN in 1978 to address the UN Special Committee against Apartheid with a message of peace and spirituality.
He brought people from all races together by preaching “healing” to everyone irrespective of race, religion or age. Over the years Mr. Ali was a relentless advocate for people in need and a significant humanitarian actor in the developing world, supporting relief and development initiatives and hand-delivering food and medical supplies to hospitals, street children and orphanages in Africa and Asia.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to Mr. Ali upon his passing on 3 June 2016, saying the United Nations was grateful “to have benefitted from the life and work of one of the past century’s great humanitarians and advocates for understanding and peace.”