UN honors civil rights leader Harry Belafonte

United Nations, Apr 26 (UNI): The United Nations (UN) paid tribute to Jamaican-American singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte, who died on Tuesday at the age of 96.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and everyone at the world body extended their deepest condolences to the family, friends, fans, and countless admirers of Belafonte, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman, in a statement.


“Beyond touching millions with his inimitable charm and charisma in music, film, and theatre, Mr. Belafonte devoted his life fighting for human rights and against injustice in all its forms. He was a fearless campaigner for civil rights and a powerful voice in the struggle against apartheid, the fight against AIDS, and the quest to eradicate poverty,” said the statement.

Belafonte was appointed a goodwill ambassador of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1987, and over the decades set new standards for public advocacy on behalf of the world’s children. With unrelenting dedication and boundless generosity, he engaged presidents, parliamentarians, and civil society to champion UNICEF’s cause, it said.

“At this moment of sorrow, let us be inspired by his example and strive to defend the dignity and rights of every human being, everywhere,” said the statement.

Apart from humanitarian activism, Belafonte supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s confidants. Belafonte was also a longtime critic of US foreign policy.

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