5/4/2005
Press Release
ORG/1441


LUCIANO PAVAROTTI TO PROMOTE UN CAUSES DURING SERIES OF CONCERTS, 2005 - 2006


United Nations Messenger of Peace, Luciano Pavarotti, will promote UN causes during his Worldwide Farewell Tour of more than 40 concerts to be held during this year and into 2006.  The world’s most celebrated opera singer has offered to screen UN public service announcements and promotional videos during these concerts, as he makes his farewells to audiences around the world.


“I am very proud both to be associated with the United Nations and to have been appointed a Messenger of Peace for this valuable and vital organization and will do whatever I can to help its work”, Mr. Pavarotti commented during his visit to Johannesburg for his farewell concert to South Africa on 2 April.  During that concert, television spots featuring the work of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and promoting the Year of Microcredit were screened before an audience of 20,000.  


Since his appointment as a UN Messenger of Peace in 1998, Mr. Pavarotti has used his fame to promote UN causes and to raise funds for UN humanitarian projects.  The recent offer to the United Nations will contribute greatly to raising awareness of UN issues -- including the Millennium Development Goals, HIV/AIDS, child rights, urban slums and poverty -- among the varied and international audiences attending the Maestro’s concerts and the media who follow his career.   


The series of concerts will take place in major international cities throughout Europe, North, South and Central America, South Africa, South-East Asia, New Zealand and Australia.


In expressing his appreciation of Pavarotti’s exceptional generosity and commitment to the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has often referred to him as “a true friend of humanity”.  Pavarotti is strongly committed to alleviating the suffering of children in war-torn countries and has organized numerous concerts to benefit them.  He has done so, in part, by gathering world-famous pop and rock stars to join him in his “Pavarotti and Friends” concerts to raise funds on behalf of humanitarian causes


From 2001 to 2003, the proceeds from the annual “Pavarotti and Friends” concerts were donated to Afghan refugees in Pakistan (2001), Angolan refugees in Zambia (2002) and Iraqi refugees in Iran (2003) to contribute to the education, health and welfare of children in refugee camps.  Each concert raised millions of euros for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) projects specifically developed to benefit child refugees.


In a career that spans over four decades, Pavarotti has broadened the popularity of opera among a truly vast public.  In addition to his work on international opera stages, the tenor has performed to millions of people in concerts and recitals in more than 60 countries around the world.  The series of concerts organized for 2005 and 2006 is billed as a farewell to his hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide. 


Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed eight other Messengers of Peace:  Muhammad Ali, Vijay Amritraj, Anna Cataldi, Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall, Enrico Macias, Wynton Marsalis and Elie Wiesel.  The appointments are intended to recognize the individuals’ commitment to peace, honour and human dignity, and the appointees have expressed their desire to help focus global attention on the noble aims of the United Nations Charter:  a world without war, respect for human rights, international law and social and economic progress.  


For more information on the above, kindly contact Yvonne Acosta in the Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, tel.:  +1 212 963-7214, e-mail:  acostay@un.org.


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