Japanese actress Misako Konno was appointed UNDP Goodwill Ambassador in October 1998 and has since been an active promoter of the global partnership for development, with a particular focus on the empowerment of girls and women.
In her role, Misako paid visits to nine UNDP programme countries – Cambodia (twice), Palestine, Bhutan, Ghana, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, Mongolia, Tanzania and Pakistan – as well as to Japan’s Tohoku in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Her first-hand experience of UNDP’s work is at the heart of her advocacy work and public appearances, including at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 2013.
The actress supports UNDP global campaigns such as International Women’s Day in 2011. In 2013, she made a plea to the Japanese audience to assist the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She contributed to UNDP projects in East Timor, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Misako is engaged in development education for Japanese youth and citizens, delivering over 20 lectures on development cooperation each year, at the request of schools, local governments and business communities across Japan.
“Through my experience as Goodwill Ambassador, I realize the power young people have in building a better future. I am hoping to help shape young leaders in both developing and developed countries through talks, performances and the series of public recitations that I launched in 2010”.
Misako Konno is an acclaimed actress in Japan. Since her debut in 1979, she has appeared in various television programmes, movies and stage productions.
Besides acting, Misako is an essay writer and the recipient of the Japan Writer's Prize in the Women's Category. In commemoration of her tenth anniversary as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador in 2008, she published an essay book “La La La Shinzentaishi (Goodwill Ambassador)”. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee.