UNA-USA Honors Human Rights Advocates, Leo Nevas Awards Given to Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Marlow Svatek

United Nations Association hosts discussion on human rights challenges

October 17, 2012
NEW YORK– The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force awarded Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro with the 2012 Leo Nevas Human Rights Award.  Pinheiro, chair of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on alleged human rights violations in Syria, spoke to a large audience today about the challenges related to human rights that are currently facing the UN in Syria. The award is the highest honor of the Leo Nevas Human Rights Program, an initiative of UNA-USA that promotes human rights as an essential component of U.S. policy at the United Nations.

“It is a proud moment to be joining other prominent human rights advocates in receiving the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award. Standing up in support of, and giving voice to those that are not empowered by their governments is one of the most important actions we can take to help our fellow man,” said Pinheiro. 

Pinheiro was recently appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on Syria, a position he will assume once the Commission’s mandate ends. The Commission has been instrumental in providing credible information to the international community on the gross violations of human rights and crimes against humanity that have been taking place in the context of the Syrian uprising.

In addition to the presentation and discussion with Pinheiro, the event at the Millennium Hotel in New York City featured the acceptance of the Leo Nevas Human Rights Young Advocate Award by Marlow Svatek. A 22 year-old native of Tampa, Florida, Svatek is currently serving in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa as an education volunteer promoting girls’ access to education. Her primary projects include student clubs and camps promoting gender equality, health awareness campaigns focusing on disease prevention, and income-generating activities with a local women’s association.

“UNA-USA Nevas Awards shine a spotlight on established and emerging human rights leaders,” said UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden. “Their dedication personifies the depth and breadth of the UN’s efforts in the area of human rights.” 

The Leo Nevas Human Rights Award and Human Rights Young Advocate Award have been presented annually since 2007, the year The Leo Nevas Program on Human Rights was established in honor of UNA-USA’s longest-serving board member. The Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force is a team of citizens knowledgeable and vitally concerned about the role of the UN and the U.S. in protecting international human rights for all. For questions, please contact Joe Catapano at jcatapano@unausa.org. More information on UNA-USA’s Leo Nevas Program is available at www.unausa.org/policy/nevas.


The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. Learn more about UNA-USA’s programs and initiatives at www.unausa.org

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.


The UN Foundation
1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006

Tel: +1 202 887-9040
Fax: +1 202 887-9021

801 Second Avenue
9th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Tel: +1 212 697-3315
Fax: +1 212 697-3316

About Us
Contact Us
Leadership Dinner
Email Sign-up