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A Tribute to Angela King

Tributes & Memories

Post your tribute to Angela E.V. King

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It is with great sadness, yet great hope, that I write in tribute of Angela E.V. King, a mentor and friend. Sadness, for the personal loss of such a warm, giving, and insightful human being and for the loss to the world of someone who worked throughout her life for peace and social justice for women, men, and children.
And yet, there is hope as well, because of the tremendous legacy she has left all of us. She left a world that must take up her charge to make real change for women and girls. She was someone who lived up to Gandhi's admonition to "...be the change you want in the world." People throughout the world must now grasp the hope represented by the gift of her life. My deepest condolences to her family.

Tribute by Hope Lewis, Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

Very few Third World women can claim to have marked the history of the UN like Angela King. A charming and soft spoken woman, moving around the UN and criss-crossing the world with grace to promote gender equality and women's rights - Angela was an inspiration to me and a great support in my five challenging years as Senior Gender Adviser of UNDP. I will remember her generous friendship and I will cherish the fond memories of our joint struggle to keep the agenda of gender equality and women's rights alive in all UN agencies. I pay tribute to her not only for what she accomplished but for what she helped us all accomplish. Until we meet, rest in peace, my friend.

Tribute by Aster Zaoude, United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)

[…] Her life is an inspiration to the Centre for Gender and Development Studies and demonstrates that women can and must break the invisible ‘glass ceiling’, become transformational leaders and positively impact decision-making in their families, communities, countries and indeed globally. Ambassador King’s legacy also underscores the benefits of civil society-government partnerships to promote peace, gender equality and sustainable development. She represents a commitment to passionate, participatory, gender-sensitive policies. Her work serves as a reminder of the importance of motivating young male and female students to become both academics and activists who must use their knowledge and skills to address the emerging gender and development challenges within and outside of the Caribbean region.

[…] We can also honour her life and legacy with a recommitment to implement the Beijing Platform and the Millennium Development Goals that promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. … We can honour Ambassador King by promoting the conditions for peace and security, as well as eliminating gender inequality and gender based violence that both contribute to HIV/AIDS. Our children will then have a better chance of succeeding Ambassador King as leaders of national, regional and international institutions. […]View full text (PDF)

Tribute by Professor Barbara Bailey and Dr. Leith Dunn, Centre for Gender and Development, University of the West Indies

Big Sis was my mentor for many years and because I knew she had me in her sights and expected big things from me I relied on her to give a me a nod and a pat on the back at crucial points in my professional development. Sister Angel was faithful: she said when to apply, when to hold back and what to do in the interim to ready myself for the next great opportunity. How does one replace someone like that?

I cannot begin to enumerate her contributions to gender and development but will say freely that she set the bar very high and worked tirelessly to professionalize a new field of endeavour. I know most of the players: Angela King will remain my role model for a long time to come!

I am just so proud to have been her friend and 'Joy', as she was wont to call me. Sun re o Sista mi!

Julie Oyegun, World Bank

Pioneering Angela brought island warmth to everything she did, for women, and therefor for the UN. It was so wonderful that she was feted with a farewell party attended by the SG and Nane Annan, family, friends and co-workers. She could feel their admiration and love. Now we need to continue with even more resolve to be sure that Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is fully implemented at every level of the UN, at every decision making table, at every level of government all over the world. That would be the finest tribute we could give in her memory.

Cora Weiss, President
Hague Appeal for Peace

Angela and I go way back, to when I joined the Secretariat as a P2 and she was a P3 working on the Report on the World Social Situation. She was always a dedicated and admirable international public servant. She recognized, perhaps more than most of us, that our profession could make change happen in the world. In her work, she did make change happen, but she did so within the rules that both constrain our work and make it credible. I was pleased to end my career at the UN with Angela as my last boss, both of us having come full circle. I shall miss her.

John Mathiason
former Deputy Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women

Angela was smart, funny and could be pretty tough indeed. Lucky, because she worked on an issue held in contempt by the powers that be in the UN and world, who either overtly ridicule gender issues or more politely and kindly dismiss its relevance. She also saw advances in gender issues, she lived through some positive changes that she was part of making happen.

She was generous to me when I was a very new and very persistent NGO demanding her attention through meetings and often rather long emails. Once when I was bombarding her with ideas on what could be done to either push Security Council resolution 1325 into being or how to make it a reality after its adoption, she smiled at me and sighed, "Felicity, do you really think you are the first person to have thought of these ideas?", putting me in my place, reminding me of both the legacy of the women's movement, and of the support that was available to make things happen. I both appreciated and needed her directness. I'm glad she's at peace, and I'm sure she's working for women from wherever she's now.

Felicity Hill
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

[...] Angela made many tough decisions and took responsibility for them. She also consulted her staff, and respected and relied on their judgment.

Angela was an exacting, even demanding boss but she was also the boss who organised Zulu lessons for the office in Johannesburg, joining the 7 am lessons as a full participant in the singing and dancing that was the instructor's favoured pedagogical tool.

Angela took great pleasure in telling people one thing in particular that we learned: that "unomsa" in Zulu means "she who brings mercy".[...] View full text (PDF)

Tribute by UNOMSA, composed from writings by Susan Allee, Brian Kelly, Raymonde Martineau and Angela King


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