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

UN Support


Special Events: national and international conferences, award ceremonies, celebration galas, special report launches - created opportunities for the further promotion and marking of UN global initiatives, such as International Women’s Year (1975), the formation of a UN Development Fund for Women (1985), and three official Presentations of the WHO First Global Report on Health & Violence in three countries (2002).

The Ambassadorial Balls: attended by ambassadors and diplomats accredited to the Court of St James and other distinguished representatives from many nations. The annual high profile Ball raised funds for UNA, UNICEF and United Nations Agencies and promoted the ideals and work of the United Nations.

The UN Association Annual Dinners: brought key global personalities, ambassadors and diplomats together with leading politicians on the national and international stage. The prestigious event raised vital funds to further promote the ideals of the United Nations and the unceasing work of UN agencies.


1975: WOMEN & POWER, International Conference - marking the first UN International Women’s Year.  24.04.75
Pida conceived and organised 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.
Keynote Speaker: Mrs Margaret Thatcher, Leader of the Conservative Party. Speakers: Dr Dixie Lee Ray (Head US Atomic Energy Commission), Francoise Giroud, Secretary of State, Women’s Affairs, France; Baroness Elles, Chair Conservative Party Int’l Committee; Ethel Chipchase, Trades Union Congress; Margery Hurst, Alistair Burnet, Arianna Stassinopoulos.
Co-organisers: Conservative Central Office/WAC London.  New London Theatre, Drury Lane, London.  Attendees 1400+


1975: Promoted the first UN International Women’s Year (IWY).  
Pida created the perfume ‘Boudicca’ to promote the first UN International Women's Year (IWY), a UN initiative which led to the launch of the United Nations Decade for Women 1975 to 1985. This was followed by further "UN Decades for Women" and international conferences.

The perfume was sold at the UN and elsewhere. The first bottle of Boudicca perfume was received by Margaret Thatcher, Leader of the Conservative Party.



Pida Ripley with Morecambe and Wise
Pida Ripley with Eric Morcambe and Ernie Wise


1975: INTERNATIONAL LUNCH marking UNITED NATIONS Thirtieth Anniversary &
the first UN International Women's Year (IWY)

Chairman: Pida Ripley.  

Guest speakers: Rt. Hon Jeremy Thorpe, Leader Liberal Party, Arianna Stassinopoulos, Bernice Weston, Founder Weight Watchers, Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise.

Attended by Ambassadors, diplomats, and high profile persons from all sectors of public life.

The Dorchester Hotel.
Beneficiary: UNA-UK.
Attendees 456.



Mr & Mrs Jeremy Thorpe, Pida Ripley

TRH The Duke & Duchess of Gloucester.  Chairman: Pida Ripley.
Speakers: Lord Mayor of London, Sir Hugh Wontner,
Lord Pritchard, Diana Rigg, Rt Hon Jeremy Thorpe, Leader Liberal Party.
The Mansion House, City of London.  Attendees 640.

1976: UNA Laureate Recognition Luncheon ‘Achievement’  23.11.1976
President: Sir John Betjeman. Chairman: Pida Ripley.  Laureate: Northern Ireland Peace Campaigner: Betty Williams. Shortly afterwards Betty Williams  & Mairaid Corrigan were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Speaker: Robert Morley.
Quaglinos, Bury Street, London.   Beneficiary: UNA-UK.    Attendees 360.

1977: UNA Laureate Recognition Luncheon ‘Survival’  15.03.1977
President: Sir John Betjeman. Chairman: Pida Ripley. Laureates: Lindsay & Stephanie Tyler, first hostages held in Eritrea.  Café Royal, Regent Street, London. Beneficiary: UNA-UK.   Attendees 320.


Jeremy Thorpe, Foreign Secretary,
RT Hon David Owen M.P. and Mrs Owen

1977: UN ASSOCIATION ANNUAL DINNER 25.05.1977                

Chairman: Pida Ripley.
Speakers: Rt. Hon. Dr David Owen, Secretary of State Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon. John Davies, Shadow Cabinet Spokesman for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon. Jeremy Thorpe, Liberal Party Spokesman Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs.
The Hilton, Park Lane. London. Attendees 590.

1977: AMBASSADORIAL BALL to benefit the United Nations Association-UK   09.11.1977             
President: Mrs Jeremy Thorpe.    Chairman: Pida Ripley.  
Midnight Spectacular: Furs on the Rocks – Cartier, Gucci, Swirn Furs & Jean Muir.
The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel. Attendees 1140.



Pida Ripley with UN Ambassador Andrew Young
Ambassador Andrew Young and UK Government Ministers

Guest of Honour & Keynote Speaker: "Keeping Our Dreams Alive"  Ambassador Andrew Young, US Representative to the United Nations.   Chairman: Pida Ripley.
Speakers: Lord Goronwy-Roberts, Minister of State, FCO. Baroness Elles, Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs, House of Lords. Rt. Hon. Jeremy Thorpe, Liberal spokesman on Foreign Affairs. Rt. Hon. Judith Hart, Minister for Overseas Development.
The Café Royal. London.    Attendees 670.

1978: AMBASSADORIAL BALL marking 30th Anniversary of the World Health Organisation. 29.11.1978

Midnight Spectacular:  The Yves Saint Laurent 1978-79 Autumn-Winter Haute Couture Collections from Paris.

Guests of Honour: TRH Prince & Princess Michael of Kent.
President: Lady Teelock, wife of the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps.
Chairman: Pida Ripley.

The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel. Beneficiary: UNA-UK.  Attendees 1276

Left: HRH Princess Michael of Kent, Earl of Burford and Margaret Duchess of Argyll at Ambassadorial Ball


Pida Ripley, Founder and Chair, Ambassadorial Ball


1980: AMBASSADORIAL BALL – 20.2.1980

Midnight Spectacular: 
American Designers Collection 
presented by BROWNS

President: Lady Teelock (wife of the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps).  
Chairman:  Pida Ripley.

The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel.


1980: AMBASSADORIAL BALL marking the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the UN. 20.11.1980
Midnight Spectacular: ‘British Brilliance’ – leading British designers & Embassy Club Disco
President: Lady Teelock (wife of the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps).  Chairman:  Pida Ripley.
The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel.  Beneficiary: UNA-UK.   Attendees 1100

1982: AMBASSADORIAL BALL ‘Soiree Française’

HRH Duchess of Gloucester, Madame De
Margerie, Pida Ripley at Ambassadorial Ball
HRH Duchess of Gloucester
dancing with Sydney Ripley, DL
   Emanuel Ungaro

Guest of Honour: Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Gloucester. President: Madame Emmanuel De Margerie (wife of the Doyen of Diplomatic Corps).  Chairman:  Pida Ripley.
Couture Spectacular: Emanuel Ungaro presenting his latest Haute Couture Collection. Jewels by Boucheron.
Midnight Spectacular Le Can-Can & entire cast and orchestra of West End musical ‘One Mo' Time’. The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel. Beneficiary: UNA-UK & UNICEF.  Attendees 1260.

Emanuel Ungaro preparing the presentation of his Haute Couture Collection

TRH Prince and Princess Michael
of Kent & Pida Ripley

1984: Royal Gala Film Premiere ‘Memed, My Hawk’ for UNICEF,
United Nations Children’s Fund.

Mr & Mrs Peter Ustinov

Guests of Honour: Their Royal Highnesses, Prince & Princess Michael of Kent.  Gala President: Countess of Mar & Kellie. Gala Chairman: Pida Ripley, UNICEF Board member.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Peter Ustinov and Tetsuko Kuroyanagi.

ABC 1 Cinema Shaftesbury Avenue & Gala Dinner at MAXIM’S de Paris, Panton Street.  Attendees 650

1985: AMBASSADORIAL BALL marking 40th Anniversary of the founding of the UN  
24th October UN Day.
Midnight Spectacular ‘Gala Tropicana’ presented by Notting Hill Carnival & Arts Committee

President: Madame Margerie, (wife of the Doyen of Diplomatic Corps). Chairman: Pida Ripley. Attendees 1160.
To benefit UNICEF, United Nations Children’s Fund & UNA-UK.  The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel.

Pida Ripley, UN Deputy Secretary General Helvi
Sipila and Baroness Gardner of Parkes

1986: UK Introduction of United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNDFW). 20.01.1986

Conference Chair: Founder UNDFW-UK, Pida Ripley
Keynote Speakers: Rt Hon. Baroness Young, Dr M Snyder, Director UNDFW, New York.

Pida Ripley was asked by the Prime Minister to establish the UK support committee for The UN Development Fund for Women. There was no support for admin costs and the HQ in New York itself received limited funds. The UK Committee was the fifth national committee and second largest donor to the UNDFW; but the task was thankless and riven with difficulties. The UK government was persuaded to increase its funding to £50,000 p.a. International Maritime Organisation (IOM}.  Attended by 200+ representatives of UK organisations

1986: House of Lords Luncheon fundraiser for UNDFW-UK.

Guest speaker: The Rt Hon. Timothy Raison, Minister for ODA.

The minister announcing the UK annual contribution to UN Development Fund for Women (UNDFW) will be increased from £5,000 to £50,000 a year.

Left: The Rt Hon. Baroness Falkender, Pida Ripley, Chair UNDFW-UK and Minister Overseas Development Administration, the Rt Hon.Timothy Raison M.P.



HRH Princess Michael of Kent, Dame Vera Lynn,
Dr Cutting, Susan Wighton

1987: Women of the World Awards Luncheon to benefit the UN Development Fund for Women. 09.06.1987. 

WoW Awards created by Pida Ripley.

Guest of Honour: Her Royal Highness,
Princess Michael of Kent.  Chairman: Pida Ripley.

Award Recipients:
Dame Vera Lynn,
Dr Pauline Cutting,
Susan Wighton, SRN.

The Café Royal, Piccadilly London.   Attendees 680.

1989: The Women of the World – WOW Ball.
A Tribute to Women in Need
President: Pida Ripley.  Chairman: Zenny Hirji. WomenAid Ambassadors: Susan Hampshire, Petula Clark, Sandie Shaw and international diplomatic guests. The Intercontinental Hotel, London.  Attendees 660. Beneficiaries: Aga Khan Foundation & WomenAid International. The event enabled WomenAid to build two 6 room schools for girls in Pakistan.


1989: Women of the World WoW Awards marking UN World Food Day  16.10.1989
Guest of Honour: Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales. Chairman: Pida Ripley.
Award creator Pida Ripley.
Award recipients: Mother Teresa, Professor Wangari Maathai, (Green Belt Movement Kenya), Mildred Robbins Leet, (Trickle-Up Programme.)

The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel.    Attendees 880.

HRH Princess of Wales with Pida Ripley,
presenting a Woman of the World Award
to Mildred Robbins Leet

HRH Princess of Wales in conversation with Pida Ripley

HRH Princess of Wales with Lady Colin
Campbell at the WOW Awards

Dame Anne Warburton

1993: WomenAid Inaugural
UN International Women’s Day
Lecture, 8 March

Dame Anne Warburton:

UK presentation of her report:
The EC Investigative Mission
into the Treatment of Muslim
Women in the Former Yugoslavia
- Report to EC Foreign Ministers

Chairman: Pida Ripley.    
The Royal Institution, London.

Sarah, Duchess of York with Pida Ripley

1993: Women of the World WoW Awards. 10.06.1993                
‘A Celebration of Hope’ 

Guest of Honour: Sarah, Duchess of York.
Pida Ripley, President and Award creator.
1993 Award recipient: Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Chairman: Zenny Hirji.  Vice-chairman: Hon. Nigel Boardman.
Speaker: Rt. Hon. Paddy Ashdown, Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Lt.Col. R Stewart, C.O. 22nd Cheshire Regt.  The Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London. Beneficiary: WomenAid International & UNHCR. Attendees 660.

Sophia Loren, a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, had agreed to receive the Award on behalf of Madame Ogato and the UNHCR but at the last minute she felt unable to attend. A very good friend of WomenAid, Sarah, Duchess of York at very short notice generously agreed to help WomenAid by attending. A STAR woman!

Additional to providing psychosocial support to deeply traumatised survivors of rape camps and other refugees and IDPs, WomenAid implemented a major logistic programme throughout the war-torn region delivering over 12,000 MT of food and medical aid to all parties. As a partner with the WFP, WHO, UNHCR and the USAF WomenAid was also supplying both the Central Bosnia airdrop and the Sarajevo airlift. In early Spring UNHCR warehouses were almost empty with no supplies in the pipeline and UNHCR requested urgent assistance as the warehouses in Bosnia were empty with the possibility of refugees starving.

WomenAid Ambassador Zandra
Rhodes with Pida Ripley

Sarah, Duchess of York accepting a WOW
award on behalf of Sadako Ogata from Rt Hon
Paddy Ashdown M.P. Leader Liberal Democrats

Pida Ripley persuaded the Daily and Sunday Express to run a BosniaFood Aid Appeal, headed by WomenAid Ambassador Judi Dench and Zandra Rhodes. 

Within a few weeks WomenAid was able to fill the near empty warehouses with almost 500 MT of wheat flour.

Presentation of $100,000 raised in a Sunday Express appeal. 


"We face an enormous challenge which we cannot tackle alone.
Only with voluntary contributions from governments
and the dedicated commitment from organisations such as WomenAid,
can refugees look forward to the future.

Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

1993: CNN International Promotion of all UN Special Days  
Pida Ripley, noting CNN were not promoting the UN or any of its Special Days, contacted the CNN London office and secured valuable agreement to promote annually the Special Days of the UN and its specialised agencies.

Twenty-five years later this initiative continues
to promote the United Nations and its special agencies.

1993-7: Implementing & Development Partnerships with UN Agencies. (see separate list of partners)
Multiple high value humanitarian aid programmes designed and implemented throughout
Former Yugoslavia, Caucasus and Central Asia.  See humanitarian programmes.

Programmes delivered 30,000 MT of food, medical and other supplies, valued at more than £12 million, to more than 1.5 million refugees, IDPs and other vulnerable people.


2001: Georgia: Requested by UNHCR to design and provide a micro-credit component: Gender empowerment

Pida Ripley with microcredit participants

A programme training Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to achieve greater self-reliance. One year national programme.

Knowledge is Power presented a stepped process of awareness raising training seminars and discussion with groups of female refugees and IDPs on

  • health and health behaviour (emphasis on sexual health, reproductive health and family planning),
  • human rights (emphasis on women’s rights and IDP rights) and
  • gender violence (emphasis on domestic violence, trafficking and forced prostitution)

Partners: WomenAid International-Caucasus, UNHCR, UNDP/UNV.T

World Health Organisation (WHO) First Global Report on Violence and Health

To view full report: http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/world_report/en/s...

ARMENIA: Country Presentation of WHO the First World Report ‘Violence & Health’
16th December 2002. Congress Hotel, Yerevan. Chairman: Pida Ripley. Report presentation: Dr Hrair Aslanyan, WHO Liaison Office, Armenia & Pida Ripley. Dr Hayk Darbinyan, Minister of Health; Karine Hakobyan, Minister Social Security; Amal Melavim UNDP/Armenia.
Partners: WHO, WAI, WAI-Caucasus, UN agencies, Armenian government ministries and NGOs.

GEORGIA: Country Presentation of WHO First World Report on Violence & Health
18th December 2002. Sheraton Metechi Hotel, Tbilisi.
Chairman: Pida Ripley. Report presentation: WHO Liaison Office, Georgia & Pida Ripley.
Partners: WHO, WomenAid International, WAI-Caucasus, Georgian government ministries and NGOs.

AZERBAIJAN: Country Presentation of WHO First World Report on Violence & Health
20th December 2002. Chairman: Pida Ripley. Report presentation: WHO Liaison Office, Azerbaijan & Pida Ripley.
Partners: WHO, WomenAid International, WAI-Caucasus, Azerbaijan government ministries and NGOs.

Benazir Bhutto, Pida Ripley and Zenny Hirji,
a long time, loyal WomenAid supporter.

2004: First UN International Women’s Day (IWD) event in Dubai, UAE
Event Chair: Pida Ripley, Founder WomenAid. In 2004 Pida Ripley personally funded and initiated the first celebration of International Women’s Day in Dubai, with a conference ‘The World of Women in the 21st Century.’ with a focus on the increasing global trafficking of humans.  

Al Jazeera, UAE, arranged a regional TV link-up for Pida to discuss progress of women’s rights  with human rights activist Asma Jahangir in Pakistan.

As this was the first International Women's Day Event in the United Arab Emirates, it created a lot of publicity. Read more:


Participants: Former Prime Minister Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, international diplomatic and business leaders, representatives from women’s organisations, media and educational establishments. This was repeated with another Dubai IWD conference in 2005 attended by former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto.