The Times Wants to Hear Your ‘Tiny Gratitude Stories’
By J.K. Field
Every year, a select number of recipients of the United Nations’ Special Award for the Universal Periodic Review (SPAR) — which honors individuals who make “significant contributions to international peace and security” and whose work “sustains or contributes to the building of an effective, just and peaceful multilateral system for the implementation of the Charter and to the achievement of integral global development in the spirit of the Millennium Development Goals” — receive a special citation in the Review’s annual report.
This year, on Oct. 24, the world’s top diplomats gathered at the United Nations Headquarters to review the performance of the United Nations and all of its agencies over the past year. The final results of this first review, which took place during the last days of August, were announced on Sept. 23, and the Times of London has now released its final SPAR award citation, which it published the day before the annual review in New York.
A ‘Very Rare’ Award
As is customary, the citation does not provide a summary of the work of the SPAR recipients, but instead describes the contributions of the individuals that are described in the citation. These “very rare” SPAR awards are often highly competitive for the prestige, recognition and financial value of the award.
In the past, nearly all of the SPAR recipients have been either former heads of states or senior diplomats at the international scene, with few individuals who have had high-level policy making experience. As in previous years, no single individual received the most citations.
In total, the SPAR awardees received a combined total of 692 awards, with 691 of them being given to former heads of state and senior diplomats.
The award is named after the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration, who was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The UN Migrant Workers – UNDP Award for Humanitarian Diplomacy was established in 2014 in recognition of the work of the agency and its partners in supporting displaced and displaced persons, and their hosts to build and sustain durable peace and durable development in countries affected by conflict, violence,