Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

Unbroken: An Exhibition of Hope and Determination

(photovoice.org)

(photovoice.org)

Dr. Nafis Sadik
Thank you very much. I've been asked to introduce Olara, but before I do that, I want to tell people that are standing there are several chairs up here. There are at least eight that I can see and they should just come up here and sit down.

Okay, Olara Otunnu, who is very modest, is telling me that one sentence is enough, but I think I'll do a few more than that. He's at present the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and therefore a very apt person to be speaking here. He's become the model of voice and advocate on behalf of war-affected children or children in conflict situations. He is really dedicated and committed to bringing those issues to the attention of the public. And he travels incessantly and he goes everywhere. And he advocates the measures that your last speaker talked about very much, but listens to the special needs of children in these conflict situations. He presents his findings to the UN Security Council and that makes a difference. He presents them to governments, to concerned organizations and to UN agencies. I don't think many of you may have heard of his name. He was ambassador here to the UN from 1980 to 1985. He was also the president of the International Peace Academy, where he also did many of the same kinds of things, promoting peace around the world. At the moment, he is also on the board of many organizations, including the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, the Aspen Institute, the Carnegie Cooperation and so on. And so I won't list any more things, but as you can see, he is a most appropriate speaker to have this afternoon. Olara...

Olara Otunnu
Thank you very much Nafis. Dr. Nafis Sadik is actually my guru. When I discovered this morning that she was on the panel, I said, "That is all you need, I will be there to second whatever she says." This is a terrible reversal of roles that is being done on me. I am a great admirer of what Dr. Sadik has been doing. I can't say we miss her at the United Nations because we've made sure she doesn't leave the UN. It is a great honor to be here with you. I'm delighted to be at the Asia Society again. I appreciate enormously what Ambassador Platt and colleagues are doing. The Asia Society remains perhaps the foremost cultural, educational, intellectual resource that serves as a bridge between the United States and Asia, and especially which informs us about Asia. We can't have enough information about Asia, and so the role of Asia Society is exceedingly important, and I am delighted to be here again. I want to congratulate the young people who have provided us with these wonderful photographs, which make up the exhibition, and especially those who are here in person representing the others. This is a wonderful form of self-expression, of young people telling their own stories, and I'm just delighted and honored that you're here with us, and on behalf of the others who are not here, please accept our warm congratulations.

And to Anna Blackman and PhotoVoice, what a wonderful project! I mean the idea of providing cameras to young people and let them record their own stories, their own experiences, their own optic, the way they look at the world and how things impress them is a wonderful project, and I really congratulate what you are doing. I will make very brief remarks. Don't be worried, it won't be a keynote address as billed in the program. I'm just a panelist and it's to warm up for Dr. Sadik.