The Latest

Global Hope Coalition Inaugural Summit Honors ‘Everyday Heroes’ Countering Violent Extremism

September 26, 2017

September 18, 2017 marked the official launch of the Global Hope Coalition in New York on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly meetings. The Global Hope Coalition is comprised of a network of three not-for-profit foundations based in New York, Zurich, and Hong Kong with the goal of establishing a global platform to “empower courageous individuals who stand up to terror and violence, preserve our heritage and build bridges across cultures.”

The Global Hope Coalition Summit recognized the efforts of extraordinary individuals who are working to fight extremism in all of its forms – among them, the destruction of cultural heritage.  The event was chaired by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova as part of her ongoing efforts to work toward countering violent extremism.

The inaugural Summit honored ten men and women who serve as “Everyday Heroes” in their work countering violent extremism. The Summit also posthumously honored Samuel Pisar as we was presented with the “A Hero for Humanity Award” by World Jewish Congress President Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder.

The Everyday Hero awardees hailed from all over the world and included doctors, military officers, refugees, activists, intellectuals, and prosecutors. The Antiquities Coalition was honored to sponsor the Everyday Hero Award for Colonel Matt Bogdanos for his work exposing the link between antiquities trafficking and terrorist financing. Colonel Bogdanos’ award was presented by the Antiquities Coalition’s Chair and Founder Deborah Lehr, who serves as the Chair of The Global Hope Coalition U.S. Learn more about each of the awardees here.

The event was attended by leaders and cultural icons from across the globe. President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta, and His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco were among the world leaders in attendance. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister attended as Iraqi special envoy of President Dr. Fuad Masum. President Alassane Ouattara of the Ivory Coast was represented by cabinet minister Ally Coulibaly.

Dignitaries and diplomats in attendance included former President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski, former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair, former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush, and the First Ladies of Bulgaria, Ghana and Mali. The Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Mali, Morocco, and Nigeria; Priti Patel, United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development; United Nations Undersecretary-General Ana María Menéndez and Under Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov; and David Drake, the Canadian Foreign Ministry’s Director General for International Security and Intelligence were all in attendance as well.