Goodwill Ambassadors

 Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo at UNDP's Match Against PovertyZinedine Zidane and Ronaldo at UNDP's Match Against Poverty

They are at the top of their field, whether it's broadcasting, the literary world or the football stadium, with talents and achievements that have made them household names in their own, and in some cases, in many other countries. Despite their diverse claims to fame, however, they all share a deep concern for the world's poor and a commitment to making the planet a better place for all, ridding it of poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, ensuring environmental sustainability, protecting human rights, and empowering women.

UNDP, along with other UN agencies, has long enlisted the voluntary services and support of prominent individuals as Goodwill Ambassadors to highlight these causes. Their fame helps amplify the urgent and universal message of human development and international cooperation, helping to accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

They articulate the UNDP development philosophy and programmes of self-reliant opportunities and motivate people to act in the interest of improving their own lives and those of their fellow citizens.

They give their time freely to help UNDP in its challenging mission, and travel often to developing countries for first-hand observation so that they can bring the human development message to the industrialized world.

Latest news

  • Cooking up positive change
    Oct 21, 2016

    What we eat has a direct impact not only on our health, but also on the wellbeing and prosperity of our communities, and the health of our planet. This is a lesson we learnt at a young age at our parents’ family restaurant, and one that we now try to spread from the kitchen at El Celler de Can Roca and in our new role as Goodwill Ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Goals. One of these goals is fighting hunger and malnutrition, as well as improving the access of all people to a healthy diet. This is a significant challenge, considering, on the one hand, the terrible reality that nearly 800 million people are suffering from chronic malnutrition, and that there are nearly 100 million underweight children under 5 years of age in developing countries. On the other hand, we find a global food system that is unsustainable, that consumes too much land, too much water, generates too many greenhouse gases and overexploits marine resources. As the final element of this equation, we cannot forget that the global population is growing- it is estimated that by 2050 the global population will reach nearly 10 billion- increasing the strain on our planet and its limited resources.

  • After global search, film star Michelle Yeoh announces names of UNDP’s youngest and cutest ambassadors – a pair of panda cubs
    Sep 19, 2016

    Award-winning global movie star and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador Michelle Yeoh has announced the results of a worldwide competition to name the organisation’s first-ever Animal Ambassadors: a pair of panda cubs.

  • Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau blows whistle on poverty at world’s first women’s amateur soccer World Cup
    Sep 18, 2016

    Globally acclaimed Danish actor and star of HBO’s Game of Thrones Nikolaj Coster-Waldau kicked off his role as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme by refereeing the world’s first amateur women’s World Cup soccer tournament in New York.

  • Game of Thrones Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau named UNDP Goodwill Ambassador
    Sep 17, 2016

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today appointed globally acclaimed actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known for his starring role on HBO’s Game of Thrones, as its newest Goodwill Ambassador. In this new role, the Danish actor will focus on raising awareness and support for the Sustainable Development Goals.