BIOGRAPHIES   

Kattis Ahlström
Journalist and radio/television host and producer, Kattis Ahlström (Sweden) is the UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and spokesperson in her country for UNFPA's Face to Face campaign to achieve greater public awareness of population and reproductive health issues. In November 1998, she traveled to Zambia to produce a Face to Face television documentary focusing on sex and teens in Zambia and Sweden, in order to help Swedish teens become more aware of issues in developing countries.
Vijay Amritraj
International tennis player and media star Vijay Amritraj (India) was appointed UN Messenger of Peace in 2001. He has been a committed advocate to people in need, devoting his time to raising awareness on the issues of drugs and HIV/AIDS. He has participated in and organized charitable events worldwide, raising funds to fight the spread of AIDS, and is associated with numerous Indian-American charitable and community organizations.

Since his appointment as a Messenger of Peace, he has undertaken two missions. The first one was to earthquake- ravaged Gujarat, where he toured the makeshift schools set up for children after the devastation. The second one was to Sri Lanka where he toured a camp for internally displaced people outside Colombo. Mr. Amritraj is deeply interested in influencing child development through sports.

Yuko Arimori
Two-time Olympic marathon medalist Yuko Arimori (Japan) was appointed UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in 2002.

In 1998, Arimori launched a non-governmental organization called Heart of Gold, which aims to offer hope to handicapped people around the world through sports, while also raising funds for victims of landmines in Cambodia. Ms. Arimori visited Cambodia to observe activities of the country's youth in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to start a project to counter the infection.

Together with Dr. Chea Samnang, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador for Cambodia, she called attention to the dangers HIV/AIDS represents to young people. Ms. Arimori said that she hoped to raise funds from the Japanese public to support the UNFPA's efforts to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in
Cambodia.

The new Goodwill Ambassador has written a book entitled Animo, which was released in 1997.
Shabana Azmi
Famous Hindi film actress, Member of the Indian Parliament, and social activist, Shabana Azmi (India) was appointed as UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in 1999. She won the National Award for her very first film Ankur in 1974, and won National Awards for three consecutive years (1983-85) for her sensitive portrayals in Arth, Kahndhar and Paar.

Ms. Azmi made public statements about issues close to her heart, and about social justice in particular. The campaign against the ostracization of AIDS victims is one such
example.

As UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, she took part in the march at the Taj Mahal on World Health Day in 2001 to draw the public's attention to the number of women who still die of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth each year. In October 2001, she addressed the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, held in Melbourne, Australia.

Lino Banfi
One of Italy's most popular actors, Lino Banfi was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2001.
Lino Banfi has appeared in more than 100 movies and is a television star in Italian talk shows and sitcoms. His role as the grandfather in the popular sitcom Un Medico in Famiglia contributed to his image as the defender of positive Italian values, promoting tolerance and care for those in need.

In 2001, he traveled to Eritrea, and subsequently promoted fund raising campaigns, as well as a special initiative for the right to play, which involved Italian professional football teams.

His public service announcement campaigns in favour of the Greater Horn of Africa campaign and emergency efforts in Afghanistan gave a substantial boost to UNICEF's fund raising.

Mary Banotti
A respected and prominent politician in her home country, Mary Banotti (Ireland) was appointed Goodwill Ambassador and Face to Face campaign spokesperson for her country by UNFPA in 1999. Ms. Banotti has helped highlight the plight of millions of women and youth denied human rights and access to reproductive health care and family planning services. She was first elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in 1984 and continues to be an active and influential MEP, serving on parliamentary committees dealing with children's welfare, health and women's issues. Her outspoken commitment to the issues of the Face to Face Campaign is already benefiting the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), UNFPA's partner in Ireland.

Ms. Banotti visited Afghanistan and Pakistan in early 2002 to witness and report on the maternal and other health needs of displaced and refugee Afghan women.

Princess Basma Bint Talal of Jordan
For nearly 30 years Her Royal Highness Princess Basma has worked nationally, regionally and internationally to promote a range of global issues, most notably in the areas of gender equity, development, and the well-being of children.

In 1992, Princess Basma initiated the establishment of the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), the highest policy-making forum in Jordan on women's issues and rights, both at the governmental and non-governmental level.

Since being named Goodwill Ambassador for UNIFEM in 1996, Princess Basma has been actively participating and supporting UNIFEM activities in Jordan. In 1999 Her Royal Highness opened the UNIFEM Arab States' Workshop on The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the first meeting of its kind to discuss Shari'a law and women's rights. In 2000 the Beijing +5 NGO meeting was held under Princess Basma's patronage in Amman. In 2002 Princess Basma celebrated both Arab Women's Day and International Women's Day. She has also been UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador since 2001 in supporting initiatives through the Jordanian National Population Commission and the Jordanian Association for Family Planning and Protection. Additionally, Her Royal Highness was appointed Honorary Human Development Ambassador for UNDP in 1993, and in this capacity has launched a number of initiatives on the national, regional and international levels.

Harry Belafonte
A strong advocate for human rights, entertainer Harry Belafonte (USA) was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987. Throughout his life, Mr. Belafonte has publicly fought injustice. He was at the forefront of the struggle for civil rights in his country and was a central figure of the USA for Africa effort, singing on the 1986 single We are the World. Mr. Belafonte has supported UNICEF's efforts for many years by organizing and performing in benefit concerts and fund-raising events, making country visits and speaking out for children. His efforts with the United States Congress to influence policies that benefit children have been important to UNICEF and to the cause of children everywhere.
Al Bano Carrisi
Singer Al Bano Carrisi (Italy) is an acclaimed international artist, with 26 gold and 8 platinum records to his credit. Mr. Carrisi broke a record in Italy in 1982 with four songs topping the Italian hit parade. Two years later he won the San Remo Festival in Switzerland with the song Ci Sara, a duet with his wife and performing partner of many years Romina Power. He has performed alongside Plácido Domingo, the Rolling Stones, Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, and opera singer Montserrat Caballé. Mr. Carrisi has used his fame to bring attention to the war against drugs as a Goodwill Ambassador for ODCCP, and appeared in support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at an awareness-raising event in Florence with Luciano Pavarotti in 1999. In October 2001, Mr. Carrisi was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the FAO.
Judy Collins
Popular singer and songwriter Judy Collins (USA) was appointed Special Representative for the Performing Arts in 1995. Collins first became associated with UNICEF when
she volunteered to help promote the book I Dream of Peace, published in 1994.

Throughout her life, Collins has been a voice for civil rights. She traveled to war-torn countries on behalf of UNICEF, and supported projects aimed at helping children
cope with the trauma of war through art therapy.

A strong advocate on the landmines issue, Collins has often written and spoken on the subject, including at the International Campaign to Ban Landmines meeting in Washington, D.C., in May 1998. Moreover, she spoke and performed at the opening session of The Hague Appeal for Peace in the Netherlands.

Ms. Collins continues to raise awareness of children's needs through her media interviews, and by speaking on child-related issues from her concert platforms. In May 2002, she performed and spoke at a major gala benefiting landmine victims in Washington.

Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta, 2000 Miss Universe from India, was appointed Goodwill Ambassador in 2001. As a representative of the Miss Universe Organization, she took part in various AIDS-related events. She works with the Face to Face Campaign for Women, which seeks to increase global awareness of women's lack of rights and access to reproductive health services.

Ms. Dutta visited health clinics and projects in India to empower women and to teach adolescents how to avoid HIV infections. She also addressed youth on the dangers of
HIV/AIDS at the World Youth Forum, organized by the United Nations in Dakar in August 2001.

She is a movie actress in India, and a nationwide weekly radio host in the United States.
Safia El-Emary
Actress Safia El-Emary (Egypt) is UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador for her country. Famous throughout the Arab world for her film and television roles, she has traveled throughout the Middle East promoting women's rights to reproductive health care, education and empowerment. She attended the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS held in June 2001.
Wendy Fitzwilliam
The 1998 Miss Universe, Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago) was first recognized by the UN with the title of Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS. Her work continues with the UN as UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador of the Face to Face campaign. She has committed her energies to fighting AIDS and the stereotypes associated with the disease in the Caribbean and worldwide.

Ms. Fitzwilliam has narrated videos both for UNAIDS and UNICEF on the plight of children and people living with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. In 1998, she established The Hibiscus Foundation, an organization in Trinidad and Tobago to heighten AIDS awareness to assist children's homes. She hopes to expand the organization throughout the region, establishing a presence in Barbados and then the entire West Indies.

In 2001, Ms. Fitzwilliam talked about HIV/AIDS prevention at the World Youth Forum of the United Nations in Dakar, Senegal, and at Headquarters activities to mark World AIDS Day.

Catarina Furtado
Actress Catarina Furtado (Portugal) was named as the Face to Face campaign spokesperson for her country in 1999, working closely with UNFPA's partner in the campaign, the Family Planning Association of Portugal (APF). Ms. Furtado has produced public service announcements highlighting sexual and reproductive rights and women's problems in developing countries for the campaign in Portugal. The television campaign has increased the public commitment of Portuguese Government officials, Parliamentarians and other opinion makers to support efforts to empower and improve the status of women. APF is also working on a project called Portuguese Initiative with Parliamentarians. Ms. Furtado has also lent her name and personal commentary to an APF mobile reproductive health exhibition called Cara a Cara (Face to Face).