Current and former UN Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan rubbed elbows Tuesday with Variety, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other honorees at the United Nations Foundation’s annual Global Leadership Awards Dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan.
This is the same event where Ted Turner 15 years ago announced his historic $1 billion UN donation. On Tuesday night, he told the 500 attendees that it had been “by far the best investment I ever made, and I made some good ones. You have to make a billion before you can give it away.”
Variety publisher Brian Gott, who has spearheaded the news org’s philanthropic efforts for the past six years, promised the UN to “continue to be your partner in mobilizing this industry, to shine a spotlight on the issues that all of us need to solve together.”
Tutu, the anti-apartheid hero turned advocate for girls’ education, got the biggest laugh by pretending to reprimand the moderator: “I think we have to be careful. You said I was passionate about women.” He then jokingly tapped his watch vigorously as a reminder to her that the 9 p.m. presidential debate was looming.