Midori performs at the United Nations (June 2014)
Midori, named a UN Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, visited United Nations headquarters on 3 June 2014. Her chief mission that day was to play a concert for UN dignitaries and staff members, to raise awareness of the important work of the Messengers of Peace program within the UN, and to extend the network of communication and cooperation from the program to other divisions of the organization.
Midori brought with her to the UN three young musicians – GaHyun Cho (violin), William Frampton (viola), and Michael Katz (cello) – who had traveled with her to Myanmar in December 2013 as part of the International Community Engagement Program (ICEP). They were met at the UN that morning by Jeffrey Brez and Jon Herbertsson, two executives of the UN’s Messenger of Peace division, and were escorted to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, where they played string quartet music (excerpts) for the assembled dignitaries.
Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, welcomed Midori and the other quartet members and introduced Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who explained the crucial importance of the Messengers of Peace program and expressed his appreciation for Midori’s ongoing commitment to the UN and to her community engagement work worldwide. Midori thanked Secretary-General Ban, spoke of their shared belief in the advancement of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, and introduced the music from the stage. The quartet performed a brief concert.
Next Midori was ushered to the UN’s onsite television studio, where she made two public service announcements – each shot in both English and Japanese – to be used by the UN in multiple contexts at conferences, summits, in social media, and for public broadcast. The first of these “PSAs” was in behalf of the UN’s Every Woman Every Child program, which works to prevent maternal and infant illness and death worldwide. The second PSA was made for UN Women, a division of the UN devoted to abolishing violence against women and girls.
Midori then met with Mr. Brez and Megan Gemmell, Advocacy and Communications Officer of Every Woman Every Child, and Nanette Braun, Chief of Communications and Advocacy for UN Women, to strategize their efforts going forward.