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Zuriel Oduwole receives Ban Ki-Moons Leadership Award

By Guardian Nigeria
11 September 2022   |   4:00 am
With barely 5 days to the start of the gathering of world leaders for the 77th annual UN General Assembly, Zuriel Oduwole has just received the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Leadership award in New York. At an elegant evening event at the Upper East side, Zuriel was honoured for her global advocacy on girl's education…

Zuriel Oduwole Receives Sec Gen Ban Ki-Moons Leadership Award A

With barely 5 days to the start of the gathering of world leaders for the 77th annual UN General Assembly, Zuriel Oduwole has just received the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Leadership award in New York.

At an elegant evening event at the Upper East side, Zuriel was honoured for her global advocacy on girl’s education [across Africa and the Caribbean], her creative engagement on climate change [speaking on behalf of 5 governments at COP], and more recently, in the quiet diplomacy, she had engaged in since the age of 13, starting with peace mediation between Venezuela and Guyana at the UN, while Mr Ban Ki-Moon was Secretary General.

‘I left South Korea as a refugee during the Korean war, and only made my major trips across most of Africa while I was UN Secretary-General, and I saw a lot of children on the streets during school’, Secretary Ban-Ki Moon said, as he got ready to present the Award.

In commending Zuriel, he said “but Zuriel does not have the UN behind her, she does not have any government or organization behind her, just the gusto and belief of a young lady to fight for those girls in Africa and the Caribbean who are voiceless, advocating for those too weak to stand, and inspiring those too broken to dream, with her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up organization”

It is the reason we honour this trailblazer today for her measurable achievements over the last 10 years, and doing so very remarkably at such a very young age!

In March 2018, 16-year-old Zuriel Oduwole met with Mozambique’s President Felipe Nyusi in Maputo, because of the high rate of girl marriage in the country, and to show herself as an example of what an educated girl can do very early in their lives. A year after that meeting, Mozambique formally outlawed girl marriage.