Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appointed renowned primatologist and environmentalist Jane Goodall as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, honouring her for a remarkable career that demonstrated her "dedication to what is best in mankind."
"This is a great addition to our team," the Secretary-General said at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York, paying tribute to Dr. Goodall "[as] someone who has always believed in sustainable development and conservation."
Dr. Goodall, who is best known for her work with chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream Research Centre in Tanzania in one of the longest running uninterrupted wildlife studies, was given a plaque containing a citation praising the scientist for her "devotion to the creation of a safer and more stable world [and] the fostering of human rights and the liberation of the human spirit."
In recognition of Dr. Goodall's contribution to the advancement of research, education and advocacy on environmental issues, the Secretary-General had earlier appointed her a member of an advisory panel to assist in promoting the goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in August in Johannesburg.
Since 1997, Mr. Annan has appointed a number of prominent people to serve as Messengers of Peace, including Muhammad Ali, Vijay Amritraj, Anna Cataldi, Michael Douglas, Enrico Macias, Wynton Marsalis, Luciano Pavarotti and Elie Weisel.
In related news, Dr. Goodall later presented the UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala, with the first Alan Cranston Peace Award.
The award is named for the late United States Senator, who was a leading proponent of nuclear disarmament in the US, and honours visionary leaders who distinguish themselves in the effort to check the spread of nuclear weapons.