NEW YORK, MAY 25 – Rain or shine, keep calm and carry on. Tthis is what Maria Grazia Gragnano-Lambertini did today as the Chairperson of the 2017 UN Bazaar. The 2017 edition of the United Nations International Bazaar (UNIB) took place at the UN Visitors Plaza on Thursday starting at 10:30 under a steady, unpleasant drizzle.
The initiative, once again promoted by the families of UN- accredited diplomats, aimed to raise funds for a number of worldwide charities by selling food, high-end items, handicrafts, works of art and lottery tickets for donated prizes. This year, 50% of the proceeds will go to Syrian refugees.
— Italy UN New York (@ItalyUN_NY) May 25, 2017
An administrative director at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Maria Grazia Gragnano-Lambertini has been following her husband, Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, around the world to the many posts covered during his career: Kinshasa, Brasilia, Bruxelles, Washington, and Paris. She is now in New York where her husband is the Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN.
Gragnano-Lambertini had already organized Italian participation in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Bazaar. But this year, her role has been much more demanding. In fact, whereas in previous years the overall coordination of the event was traditionally assigned to the spouse of the UN Secretary General, and thus carried out by Ban Soon-taek (wife of former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon), this year Catarina Marquez de Almeida Vaz Pinto, Antonio Guterres’ spouse, who is also responsible for cultural events at the city-council of Lisbon, was not be able to take on the commitment for logistical reasons, limiting herself to bestowing her High Patronage to the event.
The task fell on the Italy, which last year was able to raise over 15,000 dollars thank to the generous contribution of very famous Italian name brands. This year “people were immediately enthusiastic and eager to participate,” Maria Grazia Gragnano-Lambertini remarked. Not only was she proud of the efforts made by many developing countries, than made even the simplest of donations – like a teacup or cookies – in order to participate, but also of the massive show of generosity made by Italian businesses, like Valentino, Cucinelli, Ferrero and Ferragamo, which outdid one another to provide the finest of what the “Made in Italy” team had to offer. (@OnuItalia)