I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece but of the world. Socrates

Support & Promotion of the United Nations

A lifelong belief in the peacebuilding role of the United Nations and ‘We, the people…’ directed Pida to support and promote the United Nations and she initiated and organised, in a voluntary capacity, multiple national and international special events to promote the United Nations and its Agencies. 

Pida served for many years on the board of UNICEF-UK and as an elected member of the National Executive Board of the United Nations Association-UK.  In 1996, in recognition of her 20 year high profile voluntary work undertaking both promotion and very substantial fundraising and service on numerous UNA and UNICEF committees, she was appointed a Vice-President of UNA-UK.

Women and Power Conference

In 1975 she organised a national event marking the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the UN and initiated a high profile international conference, ‘Women and Power’ in London to mark the first UN International Year for Women (IWY).  She received an IWY Award at the UN in New York for her voluntary activities promoting the UN IWY.

For over 15 years she created and organised many high profile national and royal gala fundraising events including the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the UN, a Royal Gala Film Premiere to benefit UNICEF, as well as the annual Ambassadorial Ball with ‘Midnight Spectacular’ presentations by Cartier, Couture collections by YSL, Ungaro, cast of London musicals etc., the annual United Nations Dinner and many other prestigious diplomatic and embassy events. 

“I have known Pida Ripley for many years and can vouch for her great ability in the organisation of successful official functions such as this would be. I do hope it can be fitted into President Yeltsin’s programme.”

The Rt. Hon Lord Ennals to Richard Powell, Eastern Dept, Foreign & Commonwealth Office   12.03.1992.

In 1985 she was asked by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, to establish national support for the UN Development Fund for Women and successfully persuaded the UK government to substantially increase its funding of the new UN Fund. 

"Dear Mrs Ripley, When you called upon me on 22 January with Dr Snyder of the United Nations Development Fund for Women you left a copy of the resolution which had been carried at your Committee’s first conference held on the previous day. I was most interested to hear of the work of the Fund from Dr Snyder and of your own plans for the United Kingdom Committee. I was particularly impressed by the plans and determination…to attract private finance for the Fund. Subject to Parliamentary approval, I propose to respond to the resolution by authorising a contribution of £50,000 to the Fund later in 1986."

The Rt. Hon.Timothy Raison, M.P., Minister Overseas Development Administration.  25.02.1986.

“I am very impressed with your latest fund-raising endeavour.”

Margaret C. Snyder, Director, UNDFW.  29.12 .1986

“I was glad to see some of the materials published by the UK Committee for UNIFEM. You are certainly doing a fantastic job on behalf of UNIFEM and, indeed other parts of the UN System also."

S. Bovey NGO Liaison Service, UN Office at Geneva. 12.05.1987. 
cc to D Cegledy, UNIFEM/NY

“The Women of the World campaign is brilliant and will raise desperately needed funds for projects involving women. WOW!”

Helvi Sipila, UN Deputy Under-Secretary General 
3rd Global Meeting UNIFEM Associations. Helsinki, 22-23.09.1988.

In 1987 Pida founded WomenAid, a development and humanitarian agency, the first UK organisation to focus on women globally. Initial work was in support of UN special agencies.

“It is so important to have groups like yours helping raise awareness of the need for integration of trees in the environment and of women’s current and potential role in resource management.”

C.H. Murray, Assistant Director-General, Forestry Department, Food & Agricultural Organization of the UN

CNN International

In 1993 she persuaded CNN to include promotion of UN Special Days in its global noticeboard.  This initiative took place two years before the UN launched its own website and has provided 25 years of valuable promotion for the UN.

“Dear Pida, I congratulate you on getting the UN special days onto the CNN Events Notice Board. I would not have thought it possible to do that from London, even if I had been aware of this CNN feature.”

Graeme Warner, Director UN Information Centre, London.       18.02.1993

During the early 1990s Pida led WomenAid International, a development and humanitarian organisation into providing assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in conflict zones. Major implementing partnerships were established with several UN Agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP), UNHCR, UNICEF & the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“We face an enormous challenge, which we cannot tackle alone. Only with voluntary contributions from governments and dedicated organizations such as WOMENAID, can refugees look forward to a better future. Refugees are the responsibility of all of us. Working together, we can help millions of refugees pick up the pieces of their lives.”

Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, 1993.

Pida Ripley - UNHCR Bosnia FY

“Once again, I would like to thank you and WomenAid on behalf of WHO for your kind donation to former Yugoslavia. WomenAid is to be commended for its valuable work and its further endeavours encouraged.”  We are very grateful for your assistance to WHO and hope you will keep us in mind for future donations.”

Dr G.B. Forte, WHO Medical Supplies Officer, WHO Regional Office for Europe

“Our collaboration with WomenAid International as a major implementing partner, was commendable achieving our common goals to serve 240,000 refugees, IDPs and vulnerable persons throughout the Republic of Armenia…
We remain appreciative of the assistance of WomenAid International as an implementing partner.   May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on founding an esteemed organization.

Mamo Desta, Country Director 
UN World Food Programme, Yerevan, Armenia.    01.10.1996

Pida launched several global human rights campaigns and environmental initiatives which were acknowledged by HCHR and UNEP.

“We were very pleased and grateful to learn of your promoting the spreading of the news on United Nations Special Days by your initiative to have them included in the ‘Events Noticeboard’ of CNN International and for all your efforts in the promotion and collaboration with the various United Nations programmes.   “Your efforts in the field of human rights, particularly in furthering the rights of women, are impressive and deserve all the support available. Reiterating our congratulations for your outstanding work in the humanitarian field and wishing you and your organisation every success.”

G. Magazzeni, UN Centre for Human Rights, Geneva. 20.01.1993