Annan receives Philadelphia Liberty Medal, donates grant to AIDS fund

Annan receives Philadelphia Liberty Medal, donates grant to AIDS fund

Kofi Annan speaking after receiving award
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today received the Philadelphia Liberty Medal in the city it was named for and donated the $100,000 cash grant which accompanies the award to the Global AIDS and Health Fund.

Saying he was honoured to receive the award on United States Independence Day, Mr. Annan drew the connection between the country's founding values and the aspirations of the world's people. "Though your Independence Day heralded freedom for the American people, it inspired - and continues to inspire - millions the world over who strive to end tyranny and defend human dignity," he noted.

The Secretary-General pointed out that the US and the UN share a common vision of freedom and opportunity for all men and women. "As one of the main founders of the United Nations, and as host country of the Organization, the United States has understood that the United Nations' mission is to bring the benefits of those rights and freedoms we celebrate today to people in every corner of the world," he said.

In donating the prize money from the Liberty Medal to the Fund, Mr. Annan expressed hope that his contribution "will be followed by many more donations from Governments, foundations and citizens like you gathered here today - all of us committed to defeating the scourge of HIV/AIDS."

The Philadelphia Liberty Medal honours an individual or organization demonstrating leadership and vision in the pursuit of liberty of conscience or freedom from oppression, ignorance or deprivation. It was awarded to the Secretary-General by Philadelphia's Mayor, John Street.