Football star Zidane appointed UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

22 Mar 2001

Ha Noi - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) appointed French football star Zinédine Zidane as a Goodwill Ambassador for the fight against poverty at a ceremony at the Palais des Nations in Geneva this week.

"As UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Zinédine Zidane's mission will be to help convince a growing number of people, institutions and businesses to join the fight against poverty," said Zepherin Diabre, UNDP Associate Director. "I warmly thank you for your support and your commitment to our cause."

"We should not be deterred by the remaining problems," said Zidane, "because the good news is that each of us can do something to help reduce poverty."

Nearly one in five people œ more than one billion men, women and children œ live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less than one dollar a day. Poverty has many faces worldwide: 800 million people do not have access to health services, 500 million are chronically malnourished, 90 million children are unable to attend primary school and 230 million have no access to secondary school.

UNDP is charged with leading the UN system's effort to help countries halve the proportion of people in extreme poverty by 2015, the target agreed on by world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit last fall.

Zidane joins the ranks of other UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, including Brazilian football star Ronaldo, US actor Danny Glover, South African Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer and Japanese actress Misako Kono.

"Zinédine Zidane and Ronaldo are two heroes from national teams that battle to be the best in the world," said Mr Diabré. "Now they are on the same team."

Zidane first collaborated with UNDP over a year ago, when he and Ronaldo launched the UNDP Teams to End Poverty campaign. Their advertisement for the campaign was carried by media outlets throughout Europe, urging people to get involved in action against poverty.

Contact Information

UNDP Public Information Unit at (04) 942 1495