Watch: Dalai Lama lead tribute

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

Watch: Dalai Lama lead tributes as US rights group honours Archbishop Tutu with human rights award’s Human Rights Global Treasure Award recognises extraordinary contributions to the human rights movement.

Watch: Dalai Lama lead tribute

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

An American-based human rights group,, has honoured retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the Human Rights Global Treasure Award “in recognition of his lifelong commitment to advancing peace, equity, equality, and human rights.” announced the award this week as the world celebrated annual Human Rights Day during a virtual event from the organization’s San Francisco headquarters in the USA. founder Darian Swig said Tutu’s “lifetime of leadership and action is particularly timely at this moment.”

“Archbishop Tutu’s resolve and his heart can serve as a powerful guide for all of us engaged in this space in the months and years ahead.”

Powerful guide

Swig said the world was at the precipice, and the path forward for human rights will require unconditional love to others and that Tutu was a shining example.

“Archbishop Tutu is one of the most compassionate, unwavering and committed leaders for human rights and dignity.”

Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation chief executive Piyushi Kotecha received the award on behalf of the archbishop.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important that we see the common humanity in one another and understand the interconnectedness of ourselves, our communities, and our nations,” Kotecha said.

The poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph described Tutu as a “generational radical” during the award ceremony which also featured a discussion on growing authoritarianism in the world.

Four former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights: Mary Robinson, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Louise Arbour, and South African jurist Navi Pillay were the high-powered panel unpacking the issue.

In a video, the Dalai Lama congratulated Archbishop Tutu on receiving the Human Rights Global Treasure Award.

Tutu, who famously coined the term ‘Rainbow Nation,’ in reference to South Africa’s diverse make-up, was bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his commitment to human rights.

Established in 2017, the award is presented on 10 December to mark Human Rights Day which commemorates this day in 1948 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter.