UNCA Gala 2022
Photo Credits: Society & Diplomatic Review
The United Nations Correspondents Association hosted their 26th annual UNCA Awards and Dag Hammarskjold Fund for Journalists taking place Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres was the guest of honor of that evening and Kate Hudson, the World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador, attended the event to receive the 2022 UNCA Global Citizen Award. Kareem Rahma, this year's guest comedian was invited to bring relaxation and fun to the evening.
The U.N. Correspondents Association is a professional organization of over 200 correspondents and producers from dozens of countries, representing scores of publications, news agencies, and broadcasters from all regions of the world. Founded in 1948, the United Nations Correspondents Association represents the U.N. press corps and the Secretary General, based on an agreement in 1955, and is recognized annually by the United Nations General Assembly.
Besides the annual gala recognizing outstanding journalism and work on humanitarian issues by prominent individuals, UNCA sponsors press briefings throughout the year. It is associated with the Dag Hammarskjold Fund for Journalists, which sponsors journalists from developing countries for the duration of the annual General Assembly. The Fund was established by journalists as a non-profit organization and does not receive financial support from the United Nations. It relies on contributions from governments, foundations, organizations and individuals to fund the fellowships.
This year, Italian journalist Francesco Semprini was awarded the most prestigious prize of the 2022 United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) for his coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Long time United Nations and war correspondent with the Italian daily ‘La Stampa’, in his over hundred days spent on the frontline Semprini told the story of the threat of atomic catastrophe in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In his 2022 winning entry, he followed the UN inspectors (IAEA) headed to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant targeted by bombing, up to the gray zone, the no man’s land where Russians and Ukrainians face off with artillery. The same one that the team led by Rafael Grossi crossed to avoid the atomic disaster.
The Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize For print (including online media) coverage of the United Nations, UN agencies and field operations sponsored by The Alexander Bodini Foundation This prize is named in honor of Elizabeth Neuffer, the Boston Globe bureau chief at the United Nations, died while on assignment in Baghdad in 2003. She was a model journalist who proved throughout her career that objectivity does not have to mean neutrality. She was passionate, courageous and compassionate, drawing attention to the forgotten places in the world and to the overlooked victims of war. She explored the forces that can ignite fratricidal and genocidal conflict and her work helped inspire the movement that led to the creation of the International Criminal Court. Personally, her colleagues in UNCA treasure her for her inveterate good humor, which counterbalanced her deadly serious explorations of the darker sides of modern history.
Neuffer Gold Medal Recipient:
Francesco Semprini La Stampa (Italy) Francesco Semprini, a veteran UN and war correspondent for La Stampa, spent over 100 days on the frontline to report on threats of a catastrophic nuclear attack in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In his 2022 winning entry, he followed IAEA inspectors and their leader Rafael Grossi to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant targeted by bombing, where Russian and Ukrainian troops face off with artillery.
Neuffer Silver Medal Recipient
Michelle Nichols Reuters News Wire (USA) Just weeks after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, Michelle Nichols broke news that the hard-line Islamist movement wanted to address the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York and appoint a UN ambassador. In her other report with a colleague Emma Farge based in Geneva, Michelle took readers behind the scenes at the United Nations to explain why Western-led action against Russia over its war in Ukraine had waned six months after the invasion.
Neuffer Bronze Medal Recipient
Stéphanie Fillion Freelance (Foreign policy) (USA & Canada) Berlin, one of Europe’s top tech cities, has become the home of a new permanent pandemic preparedness hub amid the COVID-19 outbreak. In her article, Stephanie Fillion showed how WHO selected Berlin for geopolitical and financial reasons and how the organization struggled from the onset of the deadly virus in early 2020. She reported how the new hub will profit from German cutting-edge technology and its multidisciplinary approach to analyze data and help prevent the next pandemic.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco & UNCA Global Prize For print (including online media) and broadcast media (TV & Radio) coverage of Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Water Since His accession to the Throne in 2005, Prince Albert II of Monaco has made sustainable development His priority. Through His personal leadership, he has committed to promote the well-being of vulnerable communities and the sustainable and equitable management of natural resources.
Prince Albert Gold Medal Recipient:
Emilio Godoy Inter Press Service (Mexico City) Emilio Godoy has covered ramifications of the climate crisis in Mexico while holding the government to account. He has reported on critical mangrove restoration projects undertaken without state support, the insufficient measures in the fight against methane and a perilous bet on liquified gas. He reports for InterPress Service from Mexico, where journalists face considerable dangers in carrying out their investigations.
Prince Albert Silver Medal Recipient:
Kourosh Ziabari Asia Times (Iran) Reporting for Asia Times and TRT World, Kourosh Ziabari wrote on the water crisis in Iran. His eye-opening report analyzes the shrinking of the saltwater Lake Urmia as a result of controversial dam projects and policies, spotlighting widespread protests against state mismanagement.
Prince Albert Bronze Medal Recipient:
Samaan Lateef DW Germany/Telegraph UK (India, Kashmir) Samaan Lateef reports of the climate crisis in Pakistan, Afghanistan and his India for the Telegraph UK, DW Germany and other major outlets. In addition to accounts on the unprecedented heatwave in India and flooding in Pakistan, he provided unique coverage of environmental issues threatening economic life in the disputed region of Kashmir.
The Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize
For broadcast media (TV & Radio) coverage of the United Nations, UN agencies and field operations
Sponsored by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
This prize is Named in honor of Ricardo Ortega, formerly the New York correspondent for Antena 3 TV of Spain, was one of the leading Spanish journalists of his generation. His determination to bear witness first hand to what was happening around the world took him to dozens of countries. His war reporting from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Yugoslavia and Georgia was especially notable and he had a reputation for honesty, independence, determination and courage shown, for example, by his skeptical coverage of the evidence for Iraqi WMD’s presented to UN. Ricardo Ortega was killed by gunfire while covering Haiti on March 2004.
Ortega Gold Medal Recipient:
Camara Mohamed Saliou bambouguinee.com (République de Guinée) Mohamed Saliou Camara is an investigative reporter specializing in health and environmental issues. He provides analytical accounts on problems in African countries faced with climate change focusing on how climate crisis is not a single state’s problem but globally interconnected.
Ortega Silver Medal Recipient:
Samuel Agyemang Freelance – Single African Market Channel (Ghana – in English) Samuel Agyemang uses the power of television and YouTube to promote the African Continent Free Trade Agreement with international financial support and guidance from UN agencies, such as UNDP. YouTube clips depict interaction between African and foreign leaders touting free trade as a tool to build peace and foster regional and economic integration on the African continent
Ortega Bronze Medal Recipient:
Rania Farhan International Women’s News Agency (Yemen) Rania Farhan gives voice to the women facing exploitation and negligence at home and in the workplace. This newly-formed agency will publish these accounts in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Turkish and English with the hopes of launching a uniting platform.