UNDP Around the world

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

  • Setting a sustainable table
    Apr 18, 2017

    Food has always been a central part of our lives. We grew up in our parents’ restaurant and realized early on that the way people experience food – especially how they cook food and preserve culinary traditions – has a direct impact on the fundamental areas of life. It impacts our health, happiness – even our sense of identity and belonging. So imagine if your favourite staple foods or ingredients were no longer available. Recipes passed from generation to generation could become impossible to recreate. This is what is happening in many places around the world, where climate change is impacting crop production and undermining food security. Increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are threatening agricultural productivity, and some farming practices are only making matters worse.

  • UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Crown Prince Haakon of Norway lauds Liberia’s Ebola survivors and response workers
    Apr 4, 2017

    Crown Prince Haakon of Norway today met with Ebola survivors, and Ebola Response Workers and paid tribute to their efforts in caring for people infected and affected by the disease.

  • A father’s pledge – for my daughters and every daughter
    Mar 8, 2017

    I just returned from Kenya, where I refereed the Global Goals World Cup. The international soccer tournament brought together everyday women and girls to play for the Global Goals that matter to them most, including gender equality and ending poverty. It was a phenomenal experience! But equally impressive was my opportunity to see first-hand the great work that UNDP is doing creating greater opportunities for women and girls. I met women whose stories of improving their livelihoods and their communities amazed and inspired me. If you’re like me, you draw inspiration from stories of real people who are actively working to build better futures for themselves and for the world. I think that’s something we all share. As a father and husband, I’m passionate about advocating for issues that matter to me personally. I want a clean, safe, prosperous planet for my daughters to grow up in. I want them to live in a world that enables them to pursue their desires, maximize their potential, and strengthen those around them. One that doesn’t hold them back or dash their hopes because of their gender.

  • Thousands of Fathers Join Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau In Pledge to Stand Up for Daughters Around the World
    Mar 6, 2017

    A new Care2 petition from UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, actor on the HBO series Game of Thrones, is calling on fathers to unite and empower women and girls by promoting literacy and education around the world. More than 18,000 people have taken the pledge.