Highlight of UN General Assembly Week honors individuals who make unique contributions towards improving the world

NEW YORK –SEPTEMBER 19, 2022—The Atlantic Council today announced that the eleventh Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards will honor the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo; President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö; Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson; Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai; and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian Forest Whitaker.

The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony this evening, September 19, on the margins of United Nations General Assembly week in New York. The event celebrates unique individuals who embody the notion of global citizenship, and has traditionally brought together a high-level international audience of current and former heads of state, United Nations ambassadors, members of the US administration, global business leaders, and world-renowned artists.

“The concept of global citizenship takes on new importance and urgency as we’ve passed through a period of pandemic, Putin’s war in Ukraine and a host of other challenges and opportunities around the world,” said Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. “By shining a light on these remarkable individuals, we hope to draw attention to their leadership as well as inspire others’ contributions to shaping a better global future.”

President Widodo will be honored for his leadership during Indonesia’s G-20 Presidency, efforts to build bridges to end the devastating war in Ukraine, as well as his advocacy for human rights, democracy, and a greater global health architecture. Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, will present the award, which will be accepted on Widodo’s behalf by Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L. P. Marsudi. 

President Niinistö and Prime Minister Andersson will both be recognized for their countries’ historic decision to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This choice serves as a significant contribution to the alliance’s security and capabilities, and transatlantic unity. Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt will present the award to both leaders, which will be accepted in-person by Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, respectively.

Pichai will receive the Global Citizen Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership of Google’s response to Russia’s continuing war in Ukraine, commitment to digital resilience, and ongoing support for refugees and displaced people throughout the world. Professor Schwab will also present Pichai with his award.

Whitaker, as the Founder and CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative and Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation for UNESCO, will be honored not only for his artistic achievements, but also for his dedication to social activism and empowerment of the next generation of global leaders. Whitaker will be presented with the award by Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon.

This year’s event will also feature tributes to the late Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan and 2016 Global Citizen Award recipient, as well as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

This event is on-the-record and open to press. To request accreditation or for additional details, please email press@atlanticcouncil.org.

Follow @AtlanticCouncil and use #ACAwards for live updates throughout the evening.