Heroes of UN

Jean-Pierre Lacroix

Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations


Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix is the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. A superhero in peacekeeping

With 25 years of political and diplomatic experience, Mr. Lacroix was voted to take over the position , it demands a high focus on multilateral organizations, and on United Nations activities and programmes.

From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Lacroix served as Director for United Nations, International Organizations, Human Rights and Francophonie at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

His last positions also include Ambassador of France to Sweden, Chief of Protocol of France, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations in New York, Deputy Chief of Mission at the French Embassy in Prague and First Secretary then Second Counsellor at the French Embassy in Washington.

He also honored as Advisor at the Cabinet of the French Prime Minister.

Bintou Keita

Assistant Secretary-General for Africa


Ms. Bintou Keita is currently the Assistant-Secretary General for Africa.

Joined the United Nations in 1989.  She served as Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) since 2015 to 2017. In her last appointment, she was appointed as the Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone, Chief of Staff and Director of Operations for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

Ms. Keita has also taken part in several leadership management role with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Chad, Congo, Madagascar, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Burundi and the United States.  Prior to 2010, she was Deputy Executive Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi. She has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Canadian International Development Agency in Guinea.


Paul Nzegha Mzeka

Founder of ANCO (The Apiculture and Nature Conservation)

Born and raised in the rainforest, Paul N. Mzeka has a deep affection  to the existence of forest and trees. He strongly believes his love for them influenced his preference for his career track throughout his life, ending in his profession as a geography teacher.

In 2000, his dedicated team decided to change the name of the organization from NOWEBA to ANCO, the Apiculture and Nature Conservation.

Mr. Mzeka and his dedicated team have supported 30 communities to preserve their watersheds and protect over 4 community forests . In the process, his team has planted a total of 685,000 trees, which is closing up to the target being to reach a million trees before 2013.



PaULO Adario

Guardian of the Amazon


Like Mr. Paul Nzegha, Paulo Adario has been the guardian of the Amazon for the past decades.

His intensive research has contributed largely to the forest and trees safety, his work exposed the timber industry as the first in a number of drivers of destruction in the Amazon rainforest.

In 2001, despite low resource, he led his research team to support the Deni tribe liberty and protect their own land, resulting in a large scale protection of 1,6 million hectares of pristine forest. Mr. Adario also introduced new concepts, such as the ”Green Wall” to describe the network of protected areas and  put and end to the northern encroachment of industrial development. He also started the ”Zero Deforestation” movement – which is a set of political, social and economic initiatives, focus on eliminating deforestation while ensuring the improvement of living conditions of the citizens.

The impacts of his work attracted death threats from forest criminals across the Amazon. Under the circumstance, Mr. Adario persisted and providing framework for bilateral agreements with industrial companies to stop illegal destruction The resulting Soya Moratorium and cattle industry agreements are still in place today.


Zoya Rouhana

Co-founder of “KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation”


Zoya Rouhana, a Lebanese women’s rights activist who has been so persistent to fight against sexual violence on women. For over 30 years, she has worked tirelessly to strengthen women’s and girls’ protection against sexual gender-based violence.

She is the co-founder and managing director of “KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation”, one of the leading NGOs in Lebanon known for their supportive community to sexual violence survivors’ and an advocate against sexual violence. UNDP and UNFPA are currently working with KAFA on a two-year project funded by the UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, which aims to reform the capacity of the Lebanese law enforcement to be more responsive on sexual violence cases.  


Rebecca Gyumi

Founder of Msichana Initiative


Gyumi is the founder of the Msichana Initiative in Tanzania, a local NGO that advocates for girls' right to education.

As prestige lawyer, Gyumi won a landmark case in 2016 on child marriages after petitioning against the 1971 Tanzania Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married.

For her work on girls' rights, the 31-year-old won the UNICEF Global Goals Award in 2016 and was named Woman of the Year by New African Women magazine.


Norbert Bisimwa Yabe Ntaitunda

Lawyer for the South Kivu Bar Association


The South Kivu Bar Association is a free juridical clinics for the poor. Norbert is currently working on the Kavumu Trial of crimes against humanity, for rape perpetrated against 46 minors and the possession of weapons of war.

“I am the father of nine children, including seven girls. I could not bear that any of my daughters should ever be a victim of sexual and gender-based violence.”

As a lawyer with the bar of South Kivu, Norbert offers free consultations to the poor in need of legal assistance. His office recently partnered with UNDP for the Tupinge Ubakaji Project. A public hearing was organized in Luvungi and another in Walungu on the issues of sexual and gender-based violence. Several lawyers have been committed to assist the victims.



Dr. Ivonne Baki

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador


“If we don’t do something soon, it’s the humans who are going to pay the price,” says former Ecuadorian Secretary of State and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Ivonne Baki.

Mitigating conflict between warring states and promoting international collaboration has always been her best interest.

She led the Yasuni-ITT Initiative, a novelty proposal by the President of Ecuador to protect the Yasuni National Park from oil extraction. By trying to create a framework that is more collaborative alternative to the Kyoto Protocol, Baki demonstrates her passion for making global issues relevant to the whole community



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