Two international figures were presented with Winnipeg's highest honour on Monday night.

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz presented a key to the city to former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and Free The Children ambassador Spencer West. Mayor Katz also thanked Gorbachev and West for their positive action in the world.

"They come from opposite sides of the world, but they have a common lesson to teach - a lesson about human dignity and possibility," Mayor Katz said in a news release.

Gorbachev and West are speaking at We Day on Tuesday. The event is held to encuorage young people to lead change at home and around the world.

Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel peace award in 1990 for his achievements in international relations. He continues to work for the Gorbachev Foundation and Green Cross International.

Along with his work developing communities overseas with Free the Children, West, who lost his legs at the age of five, climbed to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in June.

"Obstacles can be overcome. I was told I would never walk or be a functioning member of society and I climbed the largest mountain in Africa and raised over half a million dollars," West said.

As many as 18,000 people are expected to descend upon the MTS Centre for We Day.