Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas delivers a message on International Women's Day 2013, urging an end to violence against women.

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas was appointed UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for the fight against poverty on March 17, 2010. In his new role as an advocate for the poor, Antonio Banderas sets his sights on the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight globally-agreed-upon targets that seek to halve world poverty by 2015 by combating hunger, disease, illiteracy, environment degradation and discrimination against women.

“Poverty robs us of our potential as a people, preventing us from being all that we can be,” says Banderas. “This is why it is so important to mobilize all of our efforts to defeat it, especially if today we have the knowledge, the tools and the resources to do it.”

Banderas works with UNDP to spur action at all levels of society in pursuit of the MDGs, with a particular focus on Africa and Latin America. He launched a video appeal for the Horn of Africa and has supported the Millennium International Documentary Film Festival, taking place every year since 2009 in Brussels. Banderas also invited everyone by video to follow the Rio+20 Summit that took place in Brazil in 2012. He also lent his voice to the Spanish version of the animated PSA “The Future We Want,” which was launched at the Conference.

Banderas also advocates for women’s empowerment and launched a powerful message to stop violence against women for International Women’s Day. “Violence against women is unacceptable and must stop now,” the well-known actor said in a widely distributed video in English and in Spanish.

Banderas was born in Málaga, Spain, and is a much acclaimed actor, director, producer, writer and singer. His films include Assassins, Evita, Interview with the Vampire, Philadelphia, The Mask of Zorro, Mariachi and Spy Kids. In 2011, the horror thriller The Skin I Live In marked the return of Banderas to Pedro Almodóvar's work, for which he received the 2012 Saturn Award for Best Actor. He is also a voiceover artist who voiced Puss in Boots and the same character in the Shrek movies.

He directed films such as El camino de los ingleses (English title: Summer Rain), and also received the L.A. Latino International Film Festival's "Gabi" Lifetime Achievement Award.


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