Who are the United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace and how are they appointed?
Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019
United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations. Backed by the highest honour bestowed by the Secretary-General on a global citizen, these prominent personalities volunteer their time, talent and passion to raise awareness of United Nations efforts to improve the lives of billions of people everywhere.
While Goodwill Ambassadors are not new to the United Nations, with the first appointment going back to 1954 at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the idea has proliferated across the system in recent years. With the launching of the Messengers of Peace programme by the Secretary-General in 1997, and the promulgation of “Guidelines for the Designation of Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace” in 2003, new programmes have appeared and old ones have been revamped.
In 2006, the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) of the United Nations system realized an evaluation on the Goodwill Ambassadors in the United Nations system.
The United Nations Secretary-General appoints Messengers of Peace. Goodwill Ambassadors, on the other hand, are designated by the heads of United Nations Funds, Programmes and specialized Agencies, e.g., UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNHCR. Goodwill Ambassadors are subsequently endorsed by the Secretary-General.
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