Ringo Starr Calls on U.S., Britain to 'Step Up for the Kids' at UNICEF Snowflake Ball


Throughout the night, there have been quite a few mentions of the U.S.-Mexico border, though UNICEF’s CEO Caryl Stern made it clear that the group has “no politics.”

The annual star-studded UNICEF Snowflake Ball allowed attendees like Alyssa Milano, Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Crow to each have fun Giving Tuesday (Nov. 27) and this 12 months’s honorees, Ringo Starr and Desiree Gruber, all whereas elevating cash for the group.

Starr acquired the George Harrison Humanitarian Award for his work with UNICEF, which dates again to the first-of-its-kind profit live performance for Bangladesh. Harrison pulled collectively the occasion for the group in 1971, rallying artists like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Billy Preston and Leon Russell. As Oli Harrison, founding father of the George Harrison Fund, defined, her late husband didn’t even have to succeed in out to Starr for assist.

“Ringo didn’t wait to be requested, he known as George and stated ‘I’m coming,’” she stated whereas presenting the award to Starr. “We all know him as a musician, songwriter, recording artist — however as a human being, he’s a lot greater than that.”

Starr’s acceptance speech preached “peace and love,” although he additionally expressed his confusion in regards to the ongoing challenges dealing with youngsters the world over. “So lots of them are struggling proper this minute, like these in Yemen, and sure, proper at our borders proper now,” he stated, including that “for some motive, they gained’t simply open that door. I don’t perceive it.”

Starr known as on nations just like the U.S., Britain, France and others to “step up for the children.” Throughout the night, there have been quite a few mentions of the U.S.-Mexico border, though UNICEF’s CEO Caryl Stern made it clear that the group has “no politics.”

“There are 50 million children wandering the globe and on the transfer. Twenty-nine million of them have been forcibly faraway from their properties. We haven't any politics — the one aspect we’re on is the aspect of a kid,” Stern instructed The Hollywood Reporter. “We need the world to acknowledge that, as grown-ups, we've got moral and ethical obligations for youngsters and we have to put youngsters first in our determination making.”

Regarding what occurred simply days earlier than on the border in Tijuana — the closure of a serious border crossing and firing of tear gasoline — Stern instructed THR she has “no place on the immigration selections of our nation. All I care is that the youngsters on the transfer and crossing borders are handled pretty and properly taken care of.”

On Wednesday (Nov. 28), UNICEF issued a full assertion on the state of the border in Tijuana, expressing “deep concern” for “the protection and properly being of the greater than 1,000 migrant youngsters shifting via Mexico or ready on the border in Tijuana for his or her asylum claims to be heard by immigration authorities within the United States.”

“A baby is a baby at the start, no matter their migration standing,” the assertion learn partially. “In accordance with worldwide legislation, UNICEF urges all governments to ensure that uprooted youngsters have entry to asylum procedures in a well timed method, regardless of how they enter the nation.”

Stern echoed this sentiment in a speech at Tuesday’s occasion, saying that she’s “dedicated to acquiring a world wherein youngsters usually are not known as refugees, they’re not known as migrants, they’re not identified by a quantity or described solely by the geography of their delivery or the borders they occur to reside between. But that as a substitute they're seen for what they're: youngsters. Children first. And there may be nothing political about saving the life of a kid or guaranteeing that every one youngsters have entry to a secure, wholesome childhood.”

Gruber, who was honored with the Spirit of Compassion Award, instructed THR that it’s arduous to say she desires to “keep out of politics proper now relating to youngsters.” The Full Picture CEO and her husband, MacLachlan, only recently traveled to Mexico to volunteer for UNICEF.

“We acquired to fulfill among the households in Mexico and see what they’re going via,” Gruber instructed THR. “It’s actually a really dire state of affairs while you’re on the transfer like that. It opens you as much as main poverty, crime and being sick. What a daunting factor for anyone to do, that they’re pushed to maneuver like that.”

MacLachlan offered Gruber with the award. “This is so deserved,” he instructed THR. “It’s such a terrific factor to have the ability to do and share it with somebody who I really like a lot.”

Stern additionally praised Gruber. “Desiree is a tremendous UNICEF volunteer. She’s my go-to after I want one thing,” she stated. “When I grew to become a CEO, she shaped this circle of girls CEOs, took me out to dinner, and stated, ‘How can we assist?’ And they've been my supporters for all 12 years that I’ve been right here.” Since UNICEF’s inception of the Snowflake Ball, the occasion has raised greater than $34 million.


This article initially appeared on THR.com.