UN anti-drug agency names Colombian footballer Falcao new Goodwill Ambassador

UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Falcao: UNODC drug awareness project, Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: UNODC

20 November 2013 – The United Nations anti-drug and crime agency today named Colombian footballer Radamel Falcao García Zárate as its Goodwill Ambassador for drug prevention.

“I am proud to be a UNODC [UN Office on Drug and Crime] Goodwill Ambassador,” said Mr. Falcao. “My goal is to help the youth of this world show drugs a red card.”

The striker for Monaco F.C., who will be getting a first-hand account of the UNODC fight against drugs and crimes, recently visited Ciénaga de Santa Marta, a coastal area of Colombia associated with drug trafficking.

He helped secure $100,000 from Swiss watchmaker Hublot for an alternative development project to help families involved in illicit drug production and trafficking to turn to legal livelihoods.

UNODC implements small-scale projects, such as fish breeding, beekeeping and livestock rearing, which are reinforcing 35 producers’ associations and directly benefiting 1,022 families.

The head of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, called Mr. Falcao “one of the most exciting players of our time” at the announcement of the designation, who has used his skills to inspire young people and show them the way to a healthy lifestyle.

“He is a role model of fair play, dedication and humility not just in his native Colombia, but also worldwide,” Mr. Fedotov said.

“Football is the most popular sport in the world, with billions of fans around the globe. As UNODC Goodwill Ambassador, you can help us reach the young and marginalized,” Mr. Fedotov told Mr. Falcao. “I look forward to working with you and seeing young people fulfil their potential – as you have.”

The footballer will represent Colombia in the World Cup next year.


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