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1995 Liberty Medal Recipient

"There is no greater champion and activist on behalf of the refugees of the world than Mrs. Ogata. In her four years as High Commissioner for Refugees, she has been their protector and provider of relief…No one has played a greater humanitarian role in this regard, or is a more significant symbol of future aspirations, than Sadako Ogata."
Liberty Medal International Selection Commission




"Through this award, you are honoring the courage and devotion of 5,000 men and women who work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Many of them are risking their lives daily in distant and dangerous places to protect and assist people who have been forced to flee their homes. As we commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations, I also take this award as a recognition of the valuable work that many of the UN agencies have been carrying out over the past five decades. Above all, by bestowing this tribute on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, you are expressing solidarity with 27 million refugees and displaced persons around the world. You are recognizing the plight of refugee children scarred by war, the innate strength of refugee women in adversity and exile." ...more

Sadako Ogata
Liberty Medal acceptance speech, July 4, 1995

Sadako Ogata Biographical Video