ATLANTA, May 28, 2002—Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and the University of Georgia will present Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with the 2002 Delta Prize for Global Understanding tonight at a gala banquet in Atlanta. Ogata is being recognized for her longstanding commitment to human rights.
“As a global airline, Delta knows the importance of intercultural understanding and is proud to recognize Mrs. Ogata for her efforts to foster peace and promote positive change around the world,” said Frederick W. Reid, president and chief operating officer of Delta Air Lines.
Established with an $890,000 grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation, the Delta Prize for Global Understanding is administered by the University of Georgia. The prize carries a $10,000 cash award.
“I am deeply honored to receive this year’s Delta Prize for Global Understanding,” said Ogata. “My work with refugees has been extremely important to me, and I hope I’ve been able to make a positive difference in the lives of others. The success stories demonstrate that even complex refugee problems can be solved when governments are committed and resources are available.
“One critical issue that must be addressed is how to move the political will of governments and leaders to care and act on behalf of those who suffer,” said Ogata. “The flight and misery of refugees is largely political. Turning humanitarian compassion into political action is what we as a society must strive to accomplish.”
Ogata, 74, served as U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991-2000. Since then, she has been co-chair of the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan, held in Tokyo in January 2002, as well as co-chair of the Commission on Human Security, an organization designed to address critical threats to human security such as conflict, poverty, infectious diseases and human rights violations. Ogata is also a prominent academic figure and has written about refugees and their crises.
Reid and University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams will present the prize to Ogata during a ceremony at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta.
The dinner and ceremony will follow a symposium about Ogata’s contributions to global understanding. The symposium will feature Ambassador Kai Eide, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent, and Gerald Walzer, former U.N. deputy high commissioner for Refugees.
Gary Bertsch, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security, and Betty Jean Craige, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Humanities and Arts, will host and co-chair the symposium, dinner and ceremony.
Ogata is the fourth recipient of the Delta Prize. Previous recipients include former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, and former President Jimmy Carter, his wife Rosalynn and the Atlanta-based Carter Center.
“The Delta Prize for Global Understanding demonstrates the University of Georgia’s commitment to advancing international understanding and cooperation,” said Adams. “We are grateful to Delta Air Lines for partnering with us to make this award possible.”
Nominees for the Delta Prize for Global Understanding are solicited from around the world. Selected University of Georgia students research the work of the nominees and prepare information for an international selection board that meets annually to choose the prize recipient.
For more information and photographs, see the Delta Prize site at www.uga.edu/news/deltaprize.