RLI statement on the passing of Sadako Ogata

Thursday 31 October 2019

We at the RLI were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Sadako Ogata, the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who led UNHCR from 1991 to 2000. Her contribution to the field and countless peoples' lives is an inspiration and we hope to honour her legacy through the continued provision of the Sadako Ogata Scholarship (awarded yearly) for our MA Programme. 

Ann Kamunya, a recent recipient of the Sadako Ogata scholarship, has written the below statement:

Mrs. Sadako Ogata was a brilliant mind who strived to bring world leaders together in resolving refugee issues in her capacity as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Even after the end of her tenure with the UN, her commitment to assisting and finding solutions for displaced persons continued.

I was very privileged to attain the Sadako Ogata scholarship to study MA in Refugee Protection and Forced migration studies with the University of London, an experience that has been enriching and impacted my career life in many positive ways. Getting an opportunity into this MA has widened my knowledge of refugee protection and generally of forced migration which has further allowed me to better serve refugees and other displaced persons in my capacity at UNHCR.

Therefore today in her memory, I would like to answer to her call that she made while receiving her 1996 Rotary Award for World Understanding, “… to join hands in the building of a world in which less people will be forced to flee, and in which refugees are protected until they can safely return home one day.”

May her soul rest in peace and sincere condolences to her family and loved ones.