Antonio Banderas, United Nations call for action on the MDGs

Jul 19, 2010

Madrid-Geneva - On 16 July in Madrid, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Antonio Banderas spoke at the first meeting of an advocacy group created by the UN to spur action towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In his statement during the opening session, Banderas said that his appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador was “the start of a journey in which I have been asked to reflect on my commitment to the era I live in, and an opportunity to explore my personal responsibility towards people who have not been as fortunate as me.” He added that his role with UNDP serves as “a way of understanding and acting to help the millions of human beings who are victims of endemic injustice arising from gender inequality, the lack of food, and the impossibility of receiving healthcare, education or decent housing.”

Antonio Banderas speaks in Madrid about his role as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.
Antonio Banderas speaks in Madrid about his role as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.
(Photo: J-M Ferre/UN)

The Spanish actor also mentioned that there is a “risk” of the public “becoming insensitive to the suffering of the poor that appears on our television screens for a few minutes.”

“Unfortunately,” Banderas said, “the world is not the screen of our TV sets and for many people —too many— suffering is something permanent, constant and desperate.”

Established last month, the MDG Advocacy Group is co-chaired by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The team is composed of prominent politicos and philanthropists who will mobilize action on the eight Goals.

At the announcement, Ban Ki-moon praised his advocacy team as "a collection of superheroes in fighting poverty." Group members, who are assigned to specific development goals, include former President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, philanthropist Bill Gates and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs.

Contact InformationAziyadé Poltier-Mutal, tel: +41 22 917 83 68, e-mail:

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