Game of Thrones Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau named UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

Sep 17, 2016

Newly appointed Goodwill Ambassador Nikolaj Coster-Waldau with UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Director of External Relations Michael O'Neill. Photo: Freya Morales / UNDP

New York, NY – 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.  Also known as the Global Goals, they are a universal call to action to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change.

“My main mission as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador will be to raise awareness and support for the Global Goals for a better future for all, which cannot be achieved without empowering women and protecting our planet,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at a press conference held at UNDP headquarters.

The father of two girls, Coster-Waldau is passionate about ending discrimination and violence against women and girls everywhere.  He will use his influence as an actor and advocate to draw attention to critical issues they face and encourage people to be agents of change.

“We are delighted to team up with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. His energy and commitment will help us amplify the urgent and universal message of the Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome Nicolaj's support to ensure that as many people as possible around the world know about the Goals, and can take action to help make our planet a better place for all,” said Michael O’Neill, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of External Relations, UNDP."

In addition to his award-winning acting career, Coster-Waldau is also a producer and screenwriter.  After graduating from the Danish School of Theatre in Copenhagen, he received his first major film role in Nightwatch in 1994, a critical and commercial success in Denmark. He has since starred in various films in Europe and North America, including Gods of Egypt, The Other Woman and 1,000 Times Good Night.  He will appear later this year in Small Crimes and Spinning Man in 2017.

Kicking off his role as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Coster-Waldau will referee the first portion of the inaugural Global Goals World Cup women’s soccer tournament Sunday morning at the 92nd Street Y.  Organized in partnership with the Social Good Summit, Eir Soccer and UNDP, the first ever women’s amateur Global Goals World Cup is an annual tournament that aims to connect women across nations to create a better world through sport.

“Refereeing a fantastic tournament that supports the Global Goals will be the perfect way to kick off my new role to promote and advance the Global Goals. I’m urging everyone around the world to get behind UNDP’s mission to end poverty and inequality, protect our planet and transform the lives of each and every one of us,” Coster-Waldau said.

Coster-Waldau is joining a roster of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, which includes globally celebrated actors, athletes and even chefs. For the full list of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, click here.

Images and Videos:
Adam Cathro, adam.cathro@undp.org, (o) 212.906.5326, (c) 917.915.9725

Media contacts:
Ajla Grozdanic, ajla.grozdanic@undp.org, (o) 212.906.6860, (c) 216.632.0999
Christina Pascual, christina.pascual@undp.org, (o) 212.906.5324, (c) 646.285.2784