The United Nations started its Messengers of Peace program more than 10 years ago. Now, there are 10 UN Messengers of Peace: Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Daniel Barenboim, George Clooney, Paulo Coelho, Midori Goto, Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall, Yo-Yo Ma, Charlize Theron and Elie Wiesel. These celebrities are selected from the fields of art, literature, music and sports to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations and to raise awareness of the United Nations’ efforts to improve the lives of billions of people everywhere through their public appearances, contacts with the international media and humanitarian work.
There are 6 former UN Messengers of Peace: Muhammad Ali, Vijay Amritraj, Anna Cataldi, Enrico Macias, Wynton Marsalis and Luciano Pavarotti. These former UN Messengers of Peace have gracefully lent their names, reputations and energy to motivate people to press for a more peaceful world.
To complement the UN Messengers of Peace program, the UN has 160 Goodwill Ambassadors in designated geographical and substantive areas. The UN Goodwill Ambassadors are distinguished public figures from various walks of life, they include: Nelson Mandela, George McGovern, Roger Federer, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, and Angelina Jolie.
Two suggestions to help enhance the good programs of UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors:
- In addition to selecting distinguished individuals from the fields of art, literature, music and sports; the fields of selection should be widened to include more individuals from the fields of science, academics and business.
- In addition to selecting distinguished individuals as UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors; distinguished organizations (NGOs, businesses, media) should also be considered as UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors.
A word to the UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors:
UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors should look inside the UN first to motivate the UN staff and to address the institutionalized injustices and the unfair conditions inside the UN. There are many cases of outrageous injustice and absolute dictatorship inside the UN. UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors should direct some of their attention, advocacy and lobbying towards improving the conditions of many inside the UN whose rights are violated regularly by the UN itself. Please remember that inside the UN is not always what it appears from the outside. The reality inside the UN is often disturbing, UN staff often suffer from abusive management, the UN staff have very limited means of addressing theses injustices or taking action against it; most of these means are symbolic such as casting a vote of no confidence in the UN management as was recently cast. View Link…
A word to the UN staff dealing with the UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors:
You should use utmost tact and predictive diplomacy when dealing with the UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors. Please know the limits of what your UN Messengers of Peace or UN Goodwill Ambassadors can or will do for the UN in order to pro-actively channel their talents to help the UN and to avoid situations that can end up embarrassing the UN, such was the case with a recent Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA who led a sharp campaign against the UN including media appearances stating “it is a dishonor to be a UN Goodwill Ambassador”. While that campaign was underway, the UNFPA Executive Director, Ms. Thoraya Obaid, was defending that Goodwill Ambassadors and trying to appease and keep that Goodwill Ambassadors. Such embarrassing situations for the UN should be predicted and avoided. However, it should be mentioned that such cases are very rare, the great majority of the UN Messengers of Peace and UN Goodwill Ambassadors make great contributions to the UN by volunteering their time and their talent.
M. Alaadin A. Morsy
The UN Post • unpost.net • Copyright © 2009 • All Rights Reserved