Local heroes accelerate Malaysia towards Global Goals


In conjunction with UN Day, United Nations Malaysia recognises Malaysian heroes for their important contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) From left to right: YB Senator Dato' Marzuki Yahya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reverend Elisha Satvinder and Petrina Shee from Dignity for Children Foundation, YBhg. Tan Sri Zakri bin Abdul Hamid, Zainah Anwar, Stefan Preisner, UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, and Pascale Allotey, Director of UNU-IIGH   © Photo credit: UNDP/Ahmad Hafiz

Kuala Lumpur, 24 October 2019 – On the 74th anniversary of the United Nations, Dignity for Children Foundation (Category: leaving no one behind), Ms. Zainah Anwar (Category: human rights) and YBhg. Tan Sri Zakri bin Abdul Hamid (Category: Environmental Sustainability) received the UN Day Awards 2019 in recognition of their important contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event was officiated by Datuk Wira Marzuki bin Yahya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The award honours the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations that embody the underlying principles of Agenda 2030 in three categories, namely human rights, leaving no one behind, and sustainability. Stefan Priesner, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam used the occasion to highlight the importance of partnerships for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Grounded in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, international conventions and agreements, we have expanded our collaboration in the following four areas - leaving no one behind (inclusivity and wellbeing for all), environmental sustainability, governance and human rights, and gender equality”

“There is intense engagement of UN agencies with their respective counterpart Ministries and civil society…apart from that, the UN is also systematically expanding its partnership with the private sector. Indeed, the private sector is key in achieving the SDGs as the engine of growth and employment.”

The UN Day, held to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the founding of the UN, was attended by Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives of various diplomatic missions in Malaysia as well as Senior Malaysian Government Officials and Civil Society Organisations.

Notes to the editor:

The three winners of the UN Award 2019 were announced as follows:

•             Dignity for Children Foundation, founded by Reverend Elisha Satvinder and his wife Petrina Shee in 1998 has provided education to more than 8,000 children since its establishment. Dignity for Children Foundation has exemplified the “Leaving No One Behind” principle, striving to break the cycle of poverty through the provision of quality and holistic education to some of the most underprivileged and marginalized children that would have otherwise been excluded from education.  Dignity for Children Foundation are recipients of the UN Award 2019 for contributions to Leaving No One Behind around the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.

•             Zainah Anwar, currently the Director for Musawah, is also a former Human Rights Commissioner under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia or SUHAKAM (2000 to 2004) and also a thought leader, writer, and an activist for women and girls the world over. Her contributions leave a significant and meaningful imprint on the Sustainable Development Goals No. 5 – Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Zainah Anwar is recipient of the UN Day Award 2019 in the category of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

•             YBhg. Tan Sri Zakri bin Abdul Hamid a scholar, teacher, scientist, researcher, advocate and diplomat, who has worked for over 4 decades on the observation, analysis and evaluation of global biodiversity and ecosystem services, promoting nature conservation and restoration, and contributing to the sustainability of the environment. Amongst his many roles he is the founding chair of the intergovernmental science policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystems, a body set up to try to curb the worldwide loss of biodiversity and degradation of our ecosystem.  YBhg. Tan Sri Zakri bin Abdul Hamid is recipient of the UN Day Award 2019 for is contributions to promoting biodiversity conservation, and the sustainability of the environment.

For further information, please contact:

Ahmad Hafiz Osman, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Mobile: +6012 302 1234                

Email:    [email protected]

Rachel Choong, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Mobile: +6012 416 2872

Email:    [email protected]