Delta Air Lines and UGA present the Delta Prize for Global Understanding to the president of the Pan-African Parliament

— March 2, 2005

Athens, Ga. — Delta Air Lines and the University of Georgia presented the Honorable Ambassador Gertrude Mongella of Tanzania, first president of the Pan-African Parliament of the African Union, with the 2005 Delta Prize for Global Understanding at a banquet on Tuesday, March 1, on the campus of UGA. Mongella was recognized for her lifelong promotion of women's and children's rights.

Established with an $890,000 endowment grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation, the Delta Prize for Global Understanding is administered by UGA. The prize carries a $10,000 cash award.

"The Delta Prize for Global Understanding demonstrates the University of Georgia's commitment to advancing international understanding and cooperation," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "We are grateful to Delta Air Lines for partnering with us to make this award possible."

"I am deeply honored to receive this year's Delta Prize for Global Understanding," said Ambassador Mongella. "The fight for humanitarianism is a great one, but it is one to which I remain committed. Two key factors to moving people from despair to viability are education and economic development. I am focused on those priorities as well. Therefore, I am grateful to the Delta Prize selection committee for acknowledging my work and I see this as an opportunity to gain support for promoting human rights, not only on the continent of Africa but around the world."

Ambassador Mongella was elected president of the Pan-African Parliament on March 18, 2004. She had previously served the people of Africa as a member of Parliament in Tanzania; Goodwill Ambassador to the World Health Organization representing Africa; leader of the OAU Election Observer Team to Zimbabwe for the 2002 presidential election; member of the "Council of The Future" at UNESCO; president of Advocacy for Women in Africa; and U.N. assistant secretary general and secretary general for the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In all of these positions Ambassador Mongella acquired renown for promoting a better understanding of the needs of women and children in Africa.

"The Honorable Gertrude Mongella has been on a lifelong mission to improve the quality of life for the women and children of Tanzania," said Jerome Miller, Delta Air Lines vice president for global diversity and community affairs. "In her new role as president of the Pan-African Parliament, she is furthering that mission to a broader and larger population on the continent of Africa. As a global airline, Delta supports her efforts to improve the human condition through education and economic development," said Miller.

President Adams and Miller presented the prize to Ambassador Mongella during the banquet at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Gary Bertsch, director of UGA's Center for International Trade and Security, and Betty Jean Craige, director of the university's Center for Humanities and Arts, hosted the ceremony. The two co-founded the Delta Prize in 1997.

Ambassador Mongella is the sixth recipient of the Delta Prize. Previous recipients include former president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel; former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata; former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev; Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa; and former president Jimmy Carter, his wife, Rosalyn, and the Carter Center.

Nominees for the Delta Prize for Global Understanding are solicited from around the world. Selected UGA students research the work of the nominees and prepare information for the Delta Prize board, which meets annually to choose the prize recipient.

Read more about Gertrude Mongella.

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