UNDP Goodwill Ambassador visits Viet Nam

22 Aug 2005

HA NOI One of Japan’s most accomplished actors and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Misako Konno began her first trip to Viet Nam on Monday meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan.

Ms. Konno will be in Viet Nam all week visiting UNDP project sites relating to the environment, education and heritage conservation in Ha Long Bay and Hai Duong. She will also visit Japanese-funded initiatives including a hospital and power station.

“We are grateful that Ms. Konno has decided to visit UNDP in Viet Nam,” said United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Jordan Ryan. “She has been a valuable spokesperson in Japan bringing attention to the work of UNDP and its efforts to ensure the world’s poor can build a better life.”

Ms. Konno has held the position of UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for over seven years and has been instrumental in bringing the attention of Japanese audiences to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and issues relating to poverty in the developing world. In 2003 she was appointed as `Water Messenger` for the 3rd World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, and underscored the importance of securing water for the poor.

In addition to being an accomplished actor, Ms. Konno is an award-winning writer who has published works on child rearing. She sees her efforts as Goodwill Ambassador as key to getting regular people involved in the developing world.

“Although I do not have expertise on development, I strongly feel that I can do something for poverty eradication” said Ms. Konno. “By reporting on the efforts being made at the grassroots level to people who are not development experts, I can eventually mobilize them to become involved in the fight against poverty.”

This will be Ms. Konno’s sixth visit overseas since 1998, having already seen UNDP work in Bhutan, Cambodia, Ghana, Timor-Leste, the West Bank and Gaza.

Contact Information

Nguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Media and Publications Unit
(84-4) 942-1495 ext.186 nguyen.viet.lan@undp.org

Michael Coleman, UNDP Media and Publications Unit
(84-4) 942-1495 ext.161 michael.coleman@undp.org

Takahiro Yoshida Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan
Tel: 8463017 Fax: 8463048 takahiro.yoshida@mofa.go.jp