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Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation

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2013 World Humanitarian Day

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This year’s World Humanitarian Day campaign, launching today on August 19th, asks you: "In one word, what do you think the world needs more of?" 

To get started, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recorded a video explaining his word: "Teamwork." 

The Foundation submitted and sponsored the word DIALOGUE.

More info here:


A call to support the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation

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Help us perpetuate the legacy of Sergio Vieira de Mello

Dear friends

In a month we will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Baghdad bombing, at which time we will honour not only those who lost their lives on that sad day, but also all those humanitarian workers who, since then, lost their lives in various parts of the globe.

In the ten years that have passed, the not-for-profit Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation created to keep the memory of Sergio alive, has undertaken a variety of activities that have gained international recognition.

But in order to continue, the Foundation needs your help, your financial support. The Foundation depends solely on individual contributions to survive and yours would be crucial to continue our mission. The following activities have been undertaken with success during the last ten years and it would be a pity to stop them due to lack of funds.

The annual Sergio Vieira de Mello Memorial Lecture has been instituted and is held in March in Geneva. The list of past speakers is impressive: former United Nations SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan (2008), former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata (2009), former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (2010), President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso (2011), former President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Cornelio Sommaruga (2012) and United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon (2013). Each of these speakers highlighted the work of Sergio and made important intellectual contributions to the debate on the role of humanitarian dialogue in overcoming conflict situations.

The Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize, awarded bi-annually to individuals, institutions or communities in recognition of their outstanding and unique work undertaken to achieve peaceful reconciliation between peoples and parties in conflict, has been instituted. The Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize was awarded in 2011 to the Iraqi NGO Al Mesalla Centre for Human Resources Development and in 2013 to Bishop Paride Taban and his Holy Trinity Peace Village in South Sudan.

The establishment in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly of World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is a direct achievement of the Foundation, which was instrumental in mobilizing world leaders and the United Nations to have the relevant Resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 2008. Thanks to this, each year on 19 August, the World commemorates and honours all humanitarian personnel who have lost their lives while working in one of the conflict areas of the world. Impressive manifestations are organized in Geneva, New York and elsewhere in the world. The WHD is also the tool to advocate for the security and independence of humanitarian actors, wherever they may be operating and whomever they may work for. The Foundation is proud that, thanks to its efforts, there is one day in the year when the world is made aware of the sacrifices made by the many humanitarian workers who provide life-saving relief to the most vulnerable.

Despite the proven good work of the Foundation, its financial situation is precarious. The Foundation depends on individual contributions to support its very small budget.

For this reason, I would like to appeal to you today to support the work of the Foundation. You can use the Paypal system to make your contribution or transfer your contribution directly on the account of the Foundation Iban no: CH50 0027 9279 2820 1201M. You will find all necessary information on this link.

We count on your generosity to be able to continue what we have set as our goal, namely to honour the memory of Sergio, and continue his unfinished mission and support the work of all humanitarian workers worldwide.

Thank you in advance for the support you may wish to extend to the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation in its work.

Yours sincerely,

Laurent Vieira de Mello


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2013 World Humanitarian Day

This year’s World Humanitarian Day campaign, launching today on August 19th, asks you: "In one word, what do you think the world needs more of?" More >>