UNDP congratulates Goodwill Ambassadors Casillas, Zidane, Drogba

May 8, 2012

Iker Casillas, Didier Drogba and Zinédine Zidane – all UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors for the fight against poverty and the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals – recently made UNDP proud on the pitch last week.
Real Madrid, led by Captain Casillas, won their first Spanish Liga championship since 2008. Casillas and Zidane, the sporting director of Real Madrid, celebrated the victory with their fans. Later that week, Drogba added to UNDP’s hardware, helping Chelsea win the FA Cup (The Football Association Challenge Cup) for the seventh time.  Drogba scored one of Chelsea’s goals in a 2-1 win over Liverpool. Drogba has now scored the most goals in FA Cup finals, with eight goals in eight appearances at the English national stadium.

UNDP congratulates its Goodwill Ambassadors for their achievements in the sport of football.  They serve as a primary catalyst to build critical partnerships to fight poverty. Their mission is to rally support for UNDP’s advocacy by making pro-bono public service announcements and participating in activities such as the annual Match Against Poverty organized by Ronaldo and Zidane since 2003.

In addition, UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors call attention to some of the poorest areas in the world. Zidane recently visited Mali, where he witnessed new anti-poverty initiatives put into action across the West African nation. Drogba, who supports the MDGs with a particular focus on Africa, has participated in several campaigns for HIV/AIDS awareness and democratic elections.  He has also appeared in TV spots on cluster munitions and armed violence, addressed to governments and to the general public. Casillas’ focus is on issues affecting young people in developing countries, promoting poverty reduction, education and health. He has been featured in advocacy campaigns on equity and development in Latin America, and appeared in the mine awareness  “Lend Your Leg” campaign in April next to UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Ban Ki-moon, the  Secretary-General of the United Nations.

UNDP currently has six other global Goodwill Ambassadors including  football stars Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima and Marta Vieria da Silva; Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, Japanese television personality Misako Konno; Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and tennis star Maria Sharapova.

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