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UN Messenger of Peace


Stevie Wonder Messenger of Peace

The United Nations named Stevie Wonder a U.N. Messenger of Peace on Thursday December 3rd 2009 on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, giving him a special mission of helping people with disabilities.

Banki Moon meets Stevie Wonder;s family

Stevie's ideals and activities has been recognized for his philanthropic efforts including his role at the U.S. President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, campaigns against apartheid in South Africa, Martin Luther King's birthday, hunger in Ethiopia, AIDS awareness, benefit concerts for children and families in need, the Children Diabetes Foundation and Junior Blind of America.

Stevie Wonder and Banki Moon

According to UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon: "Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people. I recognize that he has consistently used his voice and special relationship with the public to create a better and more inclusive world, to defend civil and human rights and to improve the lives of those less fortunate."

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace

When Ban Ki-Moon presented the award at UN headquarters in New York he noted that he was a great fan and stated "He's also a great humanitarian who has campaigned against apartheid, for children in need and for persons with disabilities. We are very lucky to have him join our fight for disability rights. All of us at the United Nations look forward to working with Stevie Wonder."

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace

Also at the ceremony was Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN. She described Wonder as a man with the dream of a world where every child, no matter their ability, can get a good education, where people apply for jobs without fear of discrimination, and where people live in their communities without fear.

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace with Banki Moon

Rice said: "Through songs of romance, of heartache, of injustice and heroism, through songs of soul, songs with funk and songs of hope, Stevie Wonder has encouraged all of us never to lose sight of our dreams of a better world. I think Stevie Wonder captures the significance of this day best with his words when he said, 'Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision.'"

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace

Rice hailed Wonder, whose work with the U.S. President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the Junior Blind of America and launching of the Wonder Vision Awards have encouraged innovations to help the disabled and promoted equality for all people.

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of PeaceStevie Wonder UN Messenger of PeaceStevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace

Lamenting the condition of the disabled around the globe in the 21st century Stevie said: "It is beyond my ability to fathom that 10 percent of people of this world don't matter to the other 90 percent of the people in the world. I'm not able to believe that, and the only way that we can show our caring about that 10 percent is by doing something to make the world more accessible and for people to be accepted with disabilities by committing ourselves to opening all the doors and all the possibilities for those who are physically challenged in any way."

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace, Susan Rice and Banki Moon

Most disabled persons, about 6500 million, are among the most disadvantaged, poorest, and ostracized members of society. Stevie therefore urged all UN member states to implement the landmark UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace and Banki Moon

Calling it "an amazing day," Stevie said "I never imagined that I would in my lifetime be given this honor. But when receiving such an incredible honor, it inspires me to move and do more - commit myself ... for a lifetime." he said.

Stevie Wonder Read Braille as UN Messenger of Peace

"I would hope that every single human being, and every single world leader, will commit themselves to making this world a better place and accessible for every single human being on this planet," he said.


"I'm committed to this," Stevie said, "And this honour gives me again another challenge. And this challenge is like writing another song. At the end of the day, it's not a challenge to write a song that's a hit. It's going to be number one. So we're going to win on this one, too."

Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace

Appearing on CNN television, Stevie said, "I have a love for humankind. To know that I’m one of those 10% of the people in the world with disability…I also challenge the other 90% of the people of the world to do something about it."

CNN Connect the World
Click Image above to view interview on CNN's Connect the World (Dec. 03 2009)

Click Image above to view CNN coverage of the event (Dec. 03 2009)




Stevie Wonder UN Messenger of Peace