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The U Thant Peace Award

Sri Chinmoy and U Thant 29th February 1972, UN Headquarters New York

Sri Chinmoy and U Thant 29th February 1972, UN Headquarters New York

The U Thant Peace Award was established by Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations in honour of the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, who was a deeply contemplative world-server. At the invitation of U Thant, in 1970 Sri Chinmoy began conducting at United Nations Headquarters the twice-weekly Peace Meditations, which continue to this day.

To perpetuate U Thant's sacred memory, the Award is presented to individuals or organisations who exemplify the lofty spiritual ideals of the Secretary-General in their distinguished service to the cause of world peace.

Among the luminaries who have kindly accepted the U Thant Peace Award from Sri Chinmoy are His Holiness Pope John Paul II and five Nobel Laureates: President Mikhail Gorbachev, President Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, as well as former United Nations Secretaries-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and Kurt Waldheim, and Daw Aye Aye Thant, U Thant's daughter and President of the U Thant Institute.

Recipients of the U Thant Award

(this is a non-comprehensive list)

  • Zennon Rossides — Ambassador of Cyprus to the UN, October 7 1982
  • Jorge Illueca, President of Panama, President of the 38th Session of the UN General Assembly, December 3, 1983 Dec 03
  • United Nations Development Programme, March 19th 1985, received on behalf of UNDP by Uner Kidar, Director of Division of External Relations and Governing Council Secretariat. Bradford Morse, UNDP administrator, gave a statement on 21 March 1985.
  • Dr. Russel (Amritananda) Barber, WNBC-TV Religion Editor, Emmy Award winner — November 6, 1986
  • Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. Head of the Sufie Order in the West, April 5th 1991
  • Guido De Marco, President of the 45th session of UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Malta, September 28 1991
  • Siddhartha Shankar Ray, Ambassador of India to the United States, August 8 1993
  • C. Subramaniam. President of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, September 12 1993
  • James P. Grant, UN Children's Fund (Unicef) Executive Director, September 20 1994
  • Mother Teresa, Nobel Peace Laureate, October 1 1994
  • Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union from 1985-91, Nobel Peace Laureate, October 16 1994
  • Laxmi Mail Singhvi, High commissioner for India to the United Kingdom - May 13 1995
  • Rafael Hernandez Colon, Governor of Puerto Rico (1972-76, 1984-92) — September 8 19958
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Head of the Anglican Church in South Africa, Archbishop of Cape Town, Nobel Peace Laureate; December 20 1995
  • Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Laureate, January 29 1996
  • Maurice Strong, Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank, Secretary-General of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Earth Summit), May 2 1996
  • C.V. Narasimhan, Under-Secretary-General of the UN 1956-78, Chef de Cabinet to three Secretaries-General, September 10 1996
  • Ananda Guruge, Former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to UNESCO, France and the US, Senior Special Advisor to UNESCO’s Culture of Peace Programme 1995-99 — January 3 1997
  • Vladimir Petrovsky, Under Secretary General and Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva, March 17 1997
  • Sudhahota Carl Lewis, legendary Olympic athlete, May 7 1997
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama, May 28 1997
  • O.K. Gujral, Prime Minister of India, September 21 1997
  • Dada J.P. Vaswani, Spiritual Head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, April 5 1998
  • Pope John Paul II, May 17 1998
  • Claiborne DeBorda Pell, US Senator, Rhode Island, November 15 1998
  • King Tuanku Ja'afar of Malaysia, December 30 1998
  • Mahathir Mohammed, Prime Minister of Malaysia, January 4 1999
  • Girija Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister of Nepal, February 1 1999
  • Krishna Prasad Bhajtaraj. Prime Minister of Nepal 1999, September 29 1999
  • Ted Turner, Founder of CNN, Time Warner Vice Chairman and Chairman of the UN foundation, October 6 1999
  • Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the UN, November 23 1999
  • Svenn Kristiansen, Deputy Mayor of Oslo, March 27 2000
  • Humayun Rasheed Choudhury, President of the 41st Session of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament, May 08 2000
  • Gary Ackerman, United States Congressman from New York, June 15 2000
  • Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, founder and publisher of Hinduism Today magazine and international Hindu leader, August 25 2000
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India, January 13 2001
  • The Very Reverend James Parks Morton, President, The Interfaith Center of New York, and Dean Emeritus, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, July 31 2001