HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS NAMES NATACHA ATLAS GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM

1 June 2001
HR/4534

HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS NAMES NATACHA ATLAS GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM

01/06/2001
Press ReleaseHR/4534

HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS NAMES NATACHA ATLAS

GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson announced today the appointment of performer Natacha Atlas as Goodwill Ambassador for the World Conference against Racism.

“Natacha’s music is an exciting mix of influences from East and West”, 

Mrs. Robinson, Secretary-General of the World Conference, said.  “She embodies the message that there is strength in diversity, that our differences -- be they ethnic, racial or religious -- are a source of riches to be embraced rather than feared.”

Ms. Atlas, who will be performing in Geneva tonight in support of the World Conference, burst onto the international music scene in the early 1990s with the British-based group Transglobal Underground.  Her music mixes European, North African and Middle Eastern influences to intoxicating effect.  In her work, "motion and emotion establish a common ground where contemporary electronic dance rhythms dovetail elegantly with traditional Middle Eastern syncopation, instrumentation and Atlas's lilting trilling vocals".  (Rolling Stone magazine,

7 May 2001).

Ms. Atlas is the eighth Goodwill Ambassador for the World Conference.  She joins Nobel Prize laureates for literature Wole Soyinka of Nigeria and Seamus Heaney of Ireland; Panamanian actor and musician Ruben Blades; Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun; Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar; former Icelandic President Vigdis Finnbogadottir and children's rights defender Marian Wright Edelman of the United States.

The World Conference will take place in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August to 7 September 2001.

For further information, please contact Véronique Taveau on

Tel: +41 22 917 9305, +41 79 477 0852 (mobile), vtaveau.hchr@unog.ch;

or José Díaz, on +41 22 917 9242, +41 79 217 3009 (mobile), jdiaz.hchr@unog.ch

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For information media. Not an official record.