Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand (1995)
Award Presented at The Waldorf-Astoria, New York City
In implementing her motto -- "To give without discrimination" -- Queen Sirikit of Thailand has become world-renowned for her educational and humanitarian efforts on behalf of the people of Thailand and other countries; her conservation and wildlife preservation work; and programs which are maintaining the Thai heritage and culture. Perhaps best known for her unceasing work to improve the lives and income of Thailand's millions of farmers and their families, Queen Sirikit founded her Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT) in 1976. With the help of SUPPORT, the poor from the agricultural areas of Thailand are taught Thai arts and crafts, some of which have been in danger of dying, to supplement their income. Queen Sirikit has also personally introduced pilot reforestation programs and sponsored efforts to educate Thai citizens concerning the strong connection between the destruction of forested areas, which form the country's watersheds, and dwindling water resources. Additionally, through her efforts, several forested areas in Thailand have been designated as wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves. She has been honored by the World Wildlife Fund as an outstanding conserver of forests and wildlife and, in 1991, was recognized in Washington, D.C., with an International Humanitarian Award as "an individual of international stature who has made an outstanding contribution to improvement in the quality of life and the uplifting of large numbers of people."