18 January 2008
Press Release
Note No. 6123

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents


Secretary-General designateS George clooney

 

as United Nations messenger of peace

 


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated filmmaker, actor and human rights advocate George Clooney ( United States) as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on United Nations peacekeeping.


Recognized for his work to focus public attention on crucial international political and social issues, Mr. Clooney joins eight other United Nations Messengers of Peace who advocate on behalf of the Organization.  He will visit United Nations Headquarters on 31 January 2008 to receive his designation, attend a meeting of the countries that contribute to United Nations peacekeeping efforts and brief the media.


Messengers of Peace are individuals who possess widely recognized talents in the fields of art, film, literature, music and sports, helping to raise worldwide awareness of the Organization’s ideals and activities.  Through their public appearances, contacts with the international media and humanitarian work, they expand public understanding of how the United Nations helps to improve the lives of billions of people everywhere.


In selecting Mr. Clooney for this designation, the Secretary-General said, “You have seen first-hand the pain experienced by the victims of war and made it your personal mission to help end violence and human suffering.  I am convinced you would be a persuasive and powerful Messenger of Peace given your dedication to raising awareness and mobilizing action on Darfur.”


In accepting the designation, Mr. Clooney said, “I am deeply honoured to receive this appointment.  I look forward to working with the United Nations in order to build public support for its critically important work in some of the most difficult, dangerous and dire places in the world.”


The actor’s efforts towards ending the Darfur crisis have included a private trip with his father in 2006 to the war-torn region, as well as trips to China and Egypt, and serving as executive producer and narrator of a 2007 documentary, Sand and Sorrow.  This documentary follows human rights activists as they visit refugee camps along the Chad-Sudan border and includes interviews with experts from Khartoum to London to New York that chronicle the ongoing tragedy.


In September 2006, Mr. Clooney spoke to members of the Security Council at an Arria Formula meeting along with Messenger of Peace Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor.  The Arria Formula is a vehicle by which non-governmental actors can address the United Nations Security Council outside the official sessions.


In April 2007, Mr. Clooney and several other leaders in the United States film industry co-founded “Not on Our Watch”, a non-profit organization using influential people in the arts to capture global attention and resources as a way to combat mass atrocities around the world.  Helping bring about resolution to the Darfur crisis is the organization’s first official mission.


The other Messengers of Peace and their areas of focus are:  Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan (Millennium Development Goals and hunger);  conductor Daniel Barenboim (peace and tolerance); author Paulo Coelho (intercultural dialogue); actor Michael Douglas (disarmament and peace and security); primatologist Jane Goodall (the environment);  violinist Midori Goto (Millennium Development Goals and youth); cellist Yo-Yo Ma (youth); and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel (human rights and the Holocaust).


For more information, please contact Kimberly Mann, Chief of the Advocacy Unit, at tel.:  212 963 6835, e-mail:  mann@un.org , or Paula Green, at tel.:  212 963 0047, e-mail:  greenp@un.org, or visit the Messengers of Peace website at http://www.un.org/sg/mop.


For information on United Nations peacekeeping, please contact Nick Birnback, Public Affairs Units, at tel.:  917 367 5044, e-mail:  birnback@un.org.


For information on “Not on Our Watch” please contact Alex Wagner at tel.:  347 350 6519, e-mail:  wagner@notonourwatchproject.org.


For more information about George Clooney, please contact Stan Rosenfield, Stan Rosenfield & Associates, at tel.:  310 286 7474.


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For information media • not an official record