Nansen Medal: winners from four continents

Briefing Notes, 3 November 2000

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Kris Janowski to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 3 November 2000, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

This year's Nansen Medal, UNHCR's annual award, will go to four former exiles who have helped the refugee cause in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. In a departure from the usual practice of awarding only one medal, the Nansen Committee this year granted four decorations to mark the 50th anniversary of UNHCR.

The receipients are:

The four medals will be given in four separate ceremonies in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Prague and Buenos Aires later this month.

The Nansen Medal Award was launched in 1955 by UNHCR's first High Commissioner, G.J. van Heuven Goedhart. It is named after the famous Norwegian polar explorer and humanitarian, Fridtjof Nansen, the first League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the winner of the 1922 Nobel Prize for Peace.