September 3, 2010 – What do Paul Tergat, Ronaldo, Drogba, Queen Rania and Craig David have in common?
Apart from being celebrities, they have teamed up with the likes of Angelique Kidjo, Maria Sharapova, Mia Farrow and Paulo Coehlo to campaign alongside the United Nations on helping the world meet the Millennium Development Goals.
According to the United Nations Information Centre: “Actors, singers, athletes and other celebrities from around the world including Kenya, are joining the push for action against extreme poverty, hunger and disease.”
The celebrities in question include UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace ‘with a track record of speaking out against poverty’.
The deadline for achieving eight anti-poverty goals comes up in five years time, and the UN is working to ensure developing countries meet these challenges.
A UN Summit in New York is scheduled for September 20-22 where the celebrities are expected to attend. They will mingle with leaders from the private sector, foundations and civil society, to commit to an action agenda to achieve the MDGs.
The full list of celebrities is: Paul Tergat (Kenya / WFP / runner); Goedele Liekens (Belgium / UNFPA / media star), Angelique Kidjo (Benin / UNICEF / singer), Ronaldo (Brazil / UNDP / football player), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire / UNDP / football player), Liya Kebede (Ethiopia / WHO / model); Zinédine Zidane (France / UNDP / football player), Michael Ballack (Germany / UNAIDS / football player), Anggun (Indonesia / FAO / singer), Tetsuko Kuroyanagi (Japan / UNICEF / actress, author, TV host); Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan (UNICEF), Toumane Diabate (Mali / UNAIDS / musician); Nawal El Moutawakel (Morocco / 1999 UNICEF Morocco National Ambassador / athlete), Catarina Furtado (Portugal / UNFPA / actress), Ricky Martin (Puerto Rico / UNICEF / singer); Maria Sharapova (Russia /UNDP / tennis player), Antonio Banderas (Spain / UNDP / actor), Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo / UNAIDS / football player), Craig David (UK / WHO / singer), Annie Lennox (UK / UNAIDS / singer), Don Cheadle (US / UNEP / actor), Mia Farrow (US
/ UNICEF / actress) and Carl Lewis (US / FAO / runner); and UN Messengers of Peace Paulo Coelho (Brazil, author), Midori Goto (Japan, violinist) and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan.
“I thank these outstanding leaders for joining our push to advance progress towards the Millennium Development Goals,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.