Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

United Nations Humanitarian Award Presented to Dr. Kevin Cahill

20 April 2009

The United Nations (UN) recently presented a Humanitarian Affairs award to Dr. Kevin Cahill, Professor of International Humanitarian Affairs at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Dr. Cahill, who joined RCSI in 1969 as Chair of the Tropical Diseases Department, has been a driving force in humanitarian assistance and relief efforts across the globe for more than 45 years and is a leading specialist in tropical medicine. He has 27 honorary degrees and has written or edited 35 books and more than 200 articles on subjects such as tropical disease, health and foreign policy.

Among the famous people he has treated over the years are Pope John Paul II; Fidel Castro; Cardinal Spellman, Cook and O’Connor of New York; Leonard Bernstein; as well as a number of secretary-generals of the United Nations. In 1959, he won a Lehman travelling fellow to the Far East. It was here that he worked with Mother Teresa in her Hospice for the Dying. 

Dr. Kevin Cahill, Professor of International Humanitarian Affairs at RCSI, who was presented with the United Nations Humanitarian Award by the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockman..

Speaking at the awards ceremony, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann said that “Through his academic work and over twenty books, Dr. Cahill continues to share his profound knowledge today. He and his late wife Kate have inspired me by their deep and unswerving commitment to marginalised peoples and the search for a sustainable development paradigm.” 

This was the first time in the history of the UN that an award has been given in Human Rights, Reconciliation and Humanitarian Affairs. Dr. Cahill received the Humanitarian Affairs award, Archbishop Tutu received the Human Rights award, and President Gorbachev received the Reconciliation award.