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Mission News


NYPM 050-2008

05 DECEMBER 2008


NEW YORK—A correspondent for Manila's Business Mirror became the first Filipino journalist to receive the prestigious United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Award for excellence in reporting on humanitarian and development affairs, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said.

Business Mirror Correspondent Imelda Visaya Abano received the gold medal and US$5,000 cash prize in the 13th UNCA Awards Awards sponsored by the UN Foundation. She was represented during the UNCA Awards Dinner at the UN Headquarters in New York by Publisher Antonio Cabangon who received her medal and cash prize from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Abano was cited for her article which judges described as "well-written, well-researched, and comprehensive report on an incomprehensible country, by someone from a country where misery is fairly ubiquitous but nowhere near as desperate."

In her article "Inside Haiti: Hunger and Hatred in an Unhealed Land" appeared in the June 19, 2008 issue of Business Mirror, Abano courageously reported on what is happening inside Haiti's devastating consequences of poverty and rising food prices, human rights conditions, political turmoil, and a declining economy and health system.

Abano said as a Filipino journalist on duty visiting Haiti, one of the world's poorest country, never before have she seen such deprivation and suffering. Under the Media21 Global Journalism Network Geneva Fellowship in June 2008, Abano visited Haiti while kidnappings especially of foreigners were common.

"I have seen how people suffer in the Philippines and in other countries. But deprivation and suffering of people in Haiti is unimaginable," she said.

"This award shows the international community can demonstrate a creed of fairness and humanitarianism. I wanted to pay tribute to the resilient people of Haiti. Haitians still believe that for this poor country, with the strategic help of the international community, there is a way out," Abano added.

Organized by the UNCA, the awards were presented in three categories.

Abano, also the 2002 Asian winner of the Global Awards on Environmental Reporting organized by Reuters and International Union for Conservation of Nature, shared the gold medal award for UN Foundation Humanitarian and Development Affairs Reporting with Juan Carlos Machorro of the Mi Ambiente from Mexico.

In the other two categories of the UNCA Gold Medal Awards, the Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize for written media (including online media) went to joint winners John Heilprin of Associated Press from USA and Bill Varner of Bloomberg also from USA.

The Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for broadcast journalism was awarded to joint winners Jugoslav Cosic of 892 Radio from Serbia and Marie Lora of Agence France Press TV from Kenya.

UNCA will also present its annual Citizen of the World Awards, which honor previously unrecognized efforts on behalf of humanity.

The UNCA was founded in 1948 as a press club at the United Nations. The UNCA Annual Awards were established in 1995, as a global competition.




Second Secretary & Press Officer 
Philippine Mission to the United Nations 
556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor 
New York, New York 10036 
Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38

Philippine Center Building | 556 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10036 | (Between 45th and 46th)
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