Sir Peter Ustinov (1921-2004)

Writer, actor, humanitarian and humanist

BHA Distinguished Support Sir Peter Ustinov, writer, actor, raconteur, goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and humanist, died on 28 March, 2004.

He was probably best known for his wit and his film performances, though it is his tireless work for UNICEF, the UN, the World Federalist Movement and the Ustinov Foundation that humanists will remember and miss most. Ustinov used his international background and contacts to “charm the powerful to help the powerless” as The Guardian put it.

”My allegiance is to the UN,” he once said, “which seems to be logical because ethnically I’m filthy…and extremely proud of it.”

Last year he signed a declaration from the Club of Budapest that stated: “The time has come for the world to recognise that war, rather than an instrument for the elimination of terrorists and aggressors, is a crime against humanity.”

A religious sceptic from an early age, Ustinov was always an independent thinker and a prolific and creative worker who, as an entertainer and a humanitarian, played his part in trying to make the world a better place.

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