Press Release: Yuna invited to perform at prestigious UNHCR award ceremony


Yuna To Perform at Prestigious Nansen Refugee Award Event
Ceremony honours extraordinary humanitarian work in helping refugees

Kuala Lumpur, 30 September 2013 - Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna will be performing at the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award ceremony, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland today.

The prestigious Nansen Award recognizes extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, internally displaced or stateless people. Yuna has been invited as one of three international acts to perform during the ceremony.

Other performers will be British singer-songwriter Dido, and Grammy-nominated Malian musicians, Amadou and Mariam. World-renown author Paulo Coelho will also be part of this illustrious line-up to present the keynote speech at the ceremony.

This is the first time a Malaysian performer has been invited to perform at the esteemed ceremony.

Since the release of her debut album in 2008, Yuna’s insightful lyrics have earned her awards across the globe. The popular singer has received critical acclaim from magazines such as Rolling Stone, VIBE, and Elle, and regularly performs at major music festivals. Collaborating with renowned artists to produce her own albums, Yuna also participated in the recording of the popular single “One Woman” for UN Women, released on International Women’s Day in 2013.

“I am deeply proud to be performing at the 2013 Nansen Refugee Award ceremony,” said Yuna. “It is a privilege to be part of this ceremony that honours the extraordinary humanitarian work of individuals in helping refugees.”

This year’s Nansen Refugee Prize is being awarded to Sister Angélique Namaika, who works in the remote north east region of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with survivors of displacement and abuse by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Sister Angélique, through her Centre for Reintegration and Development, has helped transform the lives of more than 2,000 women and girls who have been forced from their homes and abused, mainly by the LRA. Sister Angélique helps these women pick up the pieces of their lives through learning a trade, starting a small business, or going back to school.  
Established in 1954, the Nansen Refugee Award recognizes extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, internally displaced or stateless people. The award includes a commemorative medal and a US$100,000 monetary prize. In close consultation with UNHCR, the laureate uses the monetary prize to fund a project that compliments their existing work. The Malaysian Red Crescent Society was a beneficiary of the Nansen Refugee Award in 1977 for its work with the Vietnamese ‘boat people’ refugees in Malaysia.

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Media materials

A full media package including professional photos and video of Sister Angélique and the work she does available at: http://unhcr.org/nansenmaterials

For information on the Nansen Refugee Award, go to: www.unhcr.org/nansen

Contacts:
For Interviews with Sister Angélique and for queries on why she was chosen
Stephen Pattison, Pattison@unhcr.org + 41 22 739 82 75
Celine Schmitt (in DR Congo) schmittc@unhcr.org, + 243 817009484

For questions about the Nansen Refugee Award
Leigh Foster, foster@unhcr.org  +41 22 739 7659

For information about the artists
Alison Tilbe tilbe@unhcr.org +44 (0) 207 759 8125

For general UNHCR media inquiries
Adrian Edwards edwards@unhcr.org +41 79 557 9120

For Malaysian media queries
Yante Ismail ismaily@unhcr.org +603 2118 4812


The Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony

The Nansen Refugee Award ceremony is the most visible element of the broader Nansen Refugee Award programme. The ceremony acts as an advocacy platform which allows UNHCR and its partners to raise awareness and support for the refugee cause. It not only provides a forum for informal diplomacy among high-ranking officials, but also an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary humanitarian work of those who go beyond the call of duty on behalf of refugees, internally displaced or stateless people. The ceremony is underwritten by UNHCR and its partners; the Swiss and Norwegian governments, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the IKEA Foundation. The ceremony will be hosted by Isabelle Kumar of Euronews.




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