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100 LIVES: An open letter to UN Secretary General

Co-Founders of 100 LIVES initiative Ruben Vardanyan, Noubar Afeyan and Vartan Gregorian sent open letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

“It is with profound respect and gratitude that we join you on this World Humanitarian Day in honoring and commemorating the humanitarians who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

For the three of us, the spirit of this day is deeply personal. As Armenians, we are profoundly grateful to those individuals whose heroic acts saved lives during the Armenian Genocide. Their courageous legacy, like that of Special Representative Sérgio Vieira de Mello, has motivated many to pursue humanitarian work and inspired us to recognize the sacrifices made by so many to benefit the lives of others.

Out of a deep sense of indebtedness and appreciation, we developed the 100 LIVES initiative to remember and honor those whose selfless actions saved lives 100 years ago. The initiative seeks to share the remarkable stories of both saviors and survivors and celebrate the strength of the human spirit.

As part of the initiative, we have established a new global humanitarian prize, the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. The Aurora Prize will be presented annually to humanitarians who put themselves at risk to enable others to survive and thrive. The Prize winner will receive a US$100,000 award, as well as a US$1 million grant to be donated to the charitable organization that inspired his or her work.

This year, your World Humanitarian Day campaign is shining the spotlight on humanitarians around the world and profiling valiant Humanitarian Heroes. We are doing the same through the Aurora Prize. We want to recognize those individuals undertaking life-­‐saving work around the world, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances where others cannot or do not want to go. We invite the public to submit nominations for candidates they believe are deserving of this esteemed recognition through our online portal at

We hope that you will join us in promoting noteworthy nominations so that modern-­‐day saviors can be honored in a manner that drives further good work. This can only raise public consciousness to the issues that you face daily, and those that confront the most vulnerable around the world today”.

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