UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

Antonio Banderas, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador’s statement of support for women peace champions

                 Photo credit: UNDP                                                                            

The global news is crowded with stories of conflict and violence. Amidst these accounts, are the forgotten stories of the individuals working tirelessly to change the status quo.

I am proud to be associated with the UNDP, as their Goodwill Ambassador, which allows me to support issues that are close to my heart, and that I believe need to be given larger and more visible platforms to be seen and heard.

One such initiative is the N-Peace initiative which promotes the leadership of women as active agents of change in conflict affected areas across Asia. For far too long, the world has focused on women as passive victims in conflicts, and I am encouraged to see that this initiative is identifying, documenting and showcasing the numerous roles of courage and leadership that women are playing in their communities, and that men are working with them as allies to ensure that women are seen, heard and recognized.

[2014]’s 11 N-Peace awardees [were] selected and voted for by people who have witnessed their courage and determination. Having read their stories, I am humbled by the work they do, from playing lead roles in negotiating peace agreements in the Philippines to championing a culture of peace through education in Pakistan. I found each and every story unique, and while I cannot be present at the occasion to celebrate the victories of these peace champions, I congratulate them for their efforts, for each one’s contribution to stand and preserve against all odds.

I commend UNDP, Australia and the Siam Paragon group to come into partnership to bring together such an inspiring collection of individuals together, and wish you a successful event. 
Antonio Banderas
September, 2014
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