The U.N. refugee agency has honored the
late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, calling him an "unparalleled champion of refugee
protection and assistance for over 45 years."
U.N.H.C.R. announced Tuesday it is giving the Nansen Refugee Award to Kennedy,
who died in August.
spokesman Tim Irwin says, "Ted Kennedy has probably done more for refugees than
just about any other policy maker over the last half century. He began advocating on behalf of the
displaced very early on in his political career."
advocacy included the resettlement of refugees following the Vietnam War.
(he) continued right up until the end of his political career. He played a very central role in the
resettlement of Iraqi refugees, who were displaced by violence in their
country," he says.
An annual honor
award consists of a commemorative medal and a $100,000 prize donated by the
governments of Norway and Switzerland.
Nansen Refugee Award is presented annually, honoring individuals or
organizations whose work has improved the lives of refugees and IDPS,
internally displaced people.
named after the first High Commissioner for Refugees (Fridtjof Nansen), who was
an ambassador and diplomat from…Norway and who played a significant role in
helping refugees himself," Irwin says.
had been informed in June that he would be this year's recipient.
had a role both domestically within the United States and internationally. Domestically, he was very much at the
forefront of pushing through legislation, which assisted refugees…. He was an internationally known
statesman. He was able to influence
other governments and lead by example," he says.
The Nansen Award ceremony takes place
on October 28th in Washington, D.C.