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The UN Correspondents Association Awards 
 
Sharon Stone, Alessandro Benetton, Sofia Carson. Photo by: Jared Siskin
 

Sharon Stone, Alessandro Benetton, Sofia Carson. Photo by: Jared Siskin
 

The UN Correspondents Association (UNCA) Awards honored journalists from Ghana, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, UK, and the USA as well as Alessandro Benetton, Sofia Carson, and Sharon Stone at a black-tie ceremony at Casa Cipriani.  Guest of honor, US Secretary-General António Guterres was one of many speakers who reminded the audience of “the grave and growing dangers faced by journalists worldwide.”  Valeria Robecco, president of the UNCA “
at least 88 journalists were killed in the line of duty in 2022, marking a sharp increase over previous years”.

Alessandro Benetton, the chairman of Edizione SaA, one of the largest European holding companies, honored for his advocacy, and his family’s legacy of inclusion, and longstanding support of sustainability and human rights lauded the work of journalists and explained humbly, “there is nothing worse than long speeches by businessmen so let me focus only on one project, the Roma Fiumicino Airport, the main gate to Italy, which we control in partnership with Blackstone.  We’ve turned the airport into an innovation hub, where airplanes run on sustainable fuel, water is recycled, and operations are powered by renewable energy.  We are testing artificial intelligence to handle aircrafts while they’re on the ground and fully electric, zero emissions taxi drones, to move passengers through the terminal. It sounds like the future, but this is a current reality, born from a focus on sustainability that we have been applying to our businesses for almost a decade.

Sofia Carson, stunning in a full length black and white dress, explained that being a UNICEF Ambassador was her highest honor, “I am infinitely grateful to UNICEF for bestowing me with the immense honor of being a UNICEF Ambassador,” she declared, “UNICEF has been, and always will be, a beacon of hope, a lifesaving force, and an instrument of good for children in every corner of the world. I am proudly, wholly and humbly, committed to their life saving mission, and I cannot wait for the journey that lies ahead…being a voice for women and girls was the greatest joy of my life.  A passionate advocate for girls and their education.  She played tribute to her mother, Laura Char Carson, who was seated next to her.

Sharon Stone spoke emotionally of the toll that “total commitment to work" can take as she recalled her marriage to a journalist, “The cost of truth is never small in this effort to bring awareness" she declared with tears in her eyes.  Stone spoke of the commitment to environmental sustainability, HIV/AIDS, and praising the commitment of the Secretary General and all the journalists assembled there as well as and the joys of raising three children as a single mother.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s 
Sherwin Bryce-Pease
 proved a witty master of ceremonies. The evening included several witticisms at the expense of the personalities assembled, not unlike the White House Correspondents Dinner.
 
Attendees included Agnese Benetton, Luce Benetton, Francesca Bodini, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Chiara Clemente, Marco Congiu, Carmelia Entekhabi, Evelyn Leopold, H.E. Miguel Angel Moratinos, Ricardo Ortega, Priscilla Rattazzi, Shalini Singh, Carl Skau, Alannah Travers, Carlo Tunioli, Nadima Umar.
 
The UNCA Awards honors journalists from around the world who have provided the best print, broadcast and electronic media coverage of the United Nations, UN agencies, and field operations. UNCA is a professional organization of over 200 journalists from dozens of countries representing scores of publications and broadcasters from all regions of the world, plus the major global news agencies.
 
gerard mc keon

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