Ban to travel to Los Angeles to engage creative community on global issues

23 February 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the United States city of Los Angeles next week to meet with the creative community and look into how the United Nations and the entertainment industry can collaborate to spotlight and mobilize the public on global issues, it was announced today.

During his 28 February-2 March trip, Mr. Ban will address the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on the Organization’s role in a time when the world faces numerous challenges, his spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.

In his speech to the school, where he will be awarded its highest honor, the UCLA Medal, the Secretary-General “will focus on the power of citizens everywhere to get involved in addressing the world’s problems and building a better world,” Mr. Nesirky said.

The UN has collaborated with the entertainment industry on a number of projects under the Secretary-General’s Creative Community Outreach Initiative (CCOI), which aims to raise the profile of critical global issues in partnership with the international film and television industries.

For example, the hit US television series “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” filmed scenes at the historic UN Headquarters building in New York for one of its episodes last year that involved children and armed conflict as well as refugees.

Also last year, the UN-backed campaign to raise awareness about malaria – which claims over 1 million lives annually – had a starring role on the season premiere of the television comedy “Ugly Betty.”


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