Voices Against Indifference Initiative
The Bernard Kouchner Project: Compassion Without Borders
September 2003 - February 2004
Dr. Bernard Kouchner, founder and organizer of the Nobel Prize winning humanitarian organization "Doctors Without Borders" and inventor of "humanitarian intervention," was hand picked by Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in 1999 to be the United Nations’ Special Representative for Peacekeeping in Kosovo. Prior to and following that post, Dr. Kouchner has played an important role on the French political scene over the past 20 years, holding a number of ministerial positions in different French Governments. Most recently he served as France's Minister of Health, and before that as Minister of State for Humanitarian Action (1988-1991) and Minister of State for Social Integration (1988).
Bernard Kouchner established Doctors Without Borders in 1971 to serve humanity by delivering emergency medical care and speaking out for victims of armed conflict, epidemics and natural and man-made disasters. His organization spans countries across the globe regardless of established national borders, race, religion, creed or political affiliation. Medecins sans Frontieres, as it is known in France, is a Paris-based non-profit humanitarian organization which has developed bases around the world. As a humanitarian, Dr. Kouchner has traveled extensively in some of the world's most troubled regions. He organized humanitarian operations to Somalia, El Salvador, Lebanon and Viet Nam. In addition to those countries, his humanitarian assignments have taken him to Cambodia, Thailand, Uruguay, Peru, Guatemala and Honduras.
Dr. Kouchner is the author of several books, and co-founder of the news magazines "L' Evenement" and "Actuel". He has recieved several human rights awards, including the Dag Hammarskjold Prize and the Prix Europa.
A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Kouchner was born in 1939 in Avignon. He is the father of four children.
Learn more about how you can get involved with Doctors Without Borders and other humanitarian relief organizations here.