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Annie Lennox, OBE, to perform at the 2012 Nansen Refugee Award on October 1st in Geneva

Press Releases, 3 September 2012

Singer, songwriter, campaigner, activist, and UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Annie Lennox, OBE will perform at this year's United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award being held at the at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva on October 1st and broadcast internationally.

The line-up will also include performances by classical singer and UNHCR Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks and Swiss star Bastian Baker.

2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Madam Leymah Gbowee is also confirmed to attend the award ceremony which will pay tribute to this year's Nansen Refugee Award laureate.

Annie Lennox, said; "I am delighted to be performing at the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award ceremony in Geneva. We often fail to recognize the real heroes of this world. The Nansen Refugee Award is an opportunity to pay tribute to those who work tirelessly for the humanitarian cause, often unrecognized and often at great risk to their own personal safety. I welcome this opportunity to pay tribute to the unwavering humanitarian spirit embodied in this award."

Barbara Hendricks, who marks 25 years as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador this year, said; "The Nansen Refugee Award is an opportunity for the international community to focus their attention on the plight of refugees and to encourage international assistance and cooperation. I am honored to help give a voice to the voiceless and I hope the award will inspire others to take action."

TV presenter Isabelle Kumar will be the Master of Ceremonies for the Nansen Refugee Award ceremony on 1st October. She currently hosts Euronews' flagship debate programme "On the Frontline."

The winner of this year's Nansen Refugee Award will be announced in advance of the award ceremony at 10:30 am on September 18 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Press Room 3.

Notes to editors

For more information contact:

Susannah Lovatt: lovatt@unhcr.org / +41 22 739 86 85

The Nansen Refugee Award ceremony and reception is hosted annually in Geneva by UNHCR in cooperation with its partners, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Swiss Confederation, the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the City of Geneva and the Norwegian Government. The IKEA Foundation is also a generous contributor.

The Nansen Refugee Award was created in 1954 in honour of Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer, scientist and the first League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It is given annually to an individual or organisation for outstanding work on behalf of refugees. The Nansen Refugee Award consists of a commemorative medal and a US$100,000 monetary prize donated by the governments of Switzerland and Norway. The winner can obligate the award money to a cause of his or her choice.

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2012 Nansen artists line-up

Singer, songwriter, campaigner, activist, and UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Annie Lennox, OBE will perform at this year's United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award being held in Geneva on October 1st and broadcast internationally.

The line-up, which also includes classical singer and UNHCR Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks, Swiss star Bastian Baker and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Madam Leymah Gbowee, will pay tribute to this year's Nansen Refugee Award laureate.

TV presenter Isabelle Kumar will be the Master of Ceremonies on 1st October. The winner of this year's Nansen Refugee Award will be announced in advance of the award ceremony at 10:30 am on September 18 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

2012 Nansen artists line-up

Nansen Refugee Award Presentation Ceremony

More than 400 people attended the annual presentation in Geneva in October 1, 2012 of UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award. This year's inspirational winner from Somalia, Hawa Aden Mohamed, was unable to attend for health reasons, but she sent a video message. In the former refugee's absence, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres presented the award and Nansen medal to her sister, Shukri Aden Mohamed.

The 63-year-old humanitarian, educator and women's rights advocate, widely known as "Mama" Hawa, was honoured for her extraordinary service - under extremely difficult conditions - on behalf of refugees and the internally displaced, mainly women and girls but also including boys.

Above all she has been recognized for her work - as founder and director of the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development in Somalia's Puntland region - in helping to empower thousands of displaced Somali women and girls, many of whom are victims of rape. The centre provides secondary education as well as life skills training.

The packed event also included an address by Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, co-winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, and a video tribute to Mama Hawa as well as performances from UNHCR Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador and classical singer, Barbara Hendricks, and up and coming Swiss musician Bastian Baker.

Nansen Refugee Award Presentation Ceremony

Somalia's Hawa Aden Mohamed wins Nansen Refugee Award

Hawa Aden Mohamed, a former refugee whose visionary work has transformed the lives of thousands of displaced Somali women and girls, is the winner of the 2012 Nansen Refugee Award. Widely known as "Mama" Hawa, she is the founder and director of an ambitious education programme in Galkayo, Somalia, that helps women and girls secure their rights, develop vital skills and play a more active role in society. View a slideshow of Mama Hawa's work at the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development, which offers literacy courses and vocational training as well as food and other forms of humanitarian relief to internally displaced people [IDP].

Somalia's Hawa Aden Mohamed wins Nansen Refugee Award