In 1998 Ted Turner pledged $1 billion to United Nations causes. The United Nations Foundation that Turner established has now hit that mark.
As the UNF’s press release says, “The Foundation (and its sister organization, the Better World Fund) has donated over $600 million from founder Ted Turner and over $400 million from individuals, corporations, governments, and NGOs to programs that address key global challenges in four areas: children’s health, environment, women and population, and peace, security and human rights.”In prepared remarks, Annan said: ‘Ted’s gift was a tremendous financial boost for our organization. More than that, it has helped the UN to change – to become a partnership organization, something that has been a top priority of mine. … But Ted’s act was perhaps most important for the message it sent to his fellow Americans, his fellow businessmen and women, and to the world. Here was an iconic businessman standing up for the United Nations, and saying to the world that the UN and its work were worthy of support.’”
Philanthropy is invaluable to the United Nations’ work, but it cannot replace the continued financial support of member states. Perhaps this is something to keep in mind this month as member states renegotiate their dues payments to the UN.