September 18, 2017 marked the official launch of the Global Hope Coalition in New York with the Global Hope Coalition Summit. The Global Hope Coalition is comprised of three not-for-profit foundations based in New York, Zurich, and Hong Kong who aim to create a platform in order to “empower courageous individuals who stand up to terror and violence, preserve our heritage and build bridges across cultures.”
The Summit recognized the efforts of extraordinary individuals who work to fight extremism in all of its forms. The event was chaired by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova as part of her ongoing countering violent extremism efforts.
The inaugural Summit honored ten men and women who serve as “Everyday Heroes” in their work countering violent extremism. The awardees hailed from all over the world and included doctors, military officers, refugees, activists, intellectuals, and prosecutors. Basilinna 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 Basilinna's CEO Deborah Lehr, who also serves as the Chair of The Global Hope Coalition U.S.
Learn more about each of the awardees here.
Samuel Pisar was posthumously honored as well with the “A Hero for Humanity Award”, which was presented by World Jewish Congress President Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder.
The event was attended by leaders and cultural icons from around 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.