The Top 10 Sexiest U.N. Goodwill Ambassadors
Living in a world far removed from the reality and brutality of everyday life, celebrities are often considered superficial and self-indulgent. But every so often, the United Nations taps a selfless celebrity to become one of their ambassadors and help them save the world. These celebrities donate their time to making the world a better place…and they look hot doing it.
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10. Maria Grazia Cucinotta
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Maria Grazia Cucinotta is a famous Italian actress best known for her role in the Academy Award-winning film Il Postino and for playing Cigar Girl in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.
Maria was named an Ambassador against hunger with the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) in 2006. The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, providing food to more than 90 million people a year. Maria and the WFP strive to eradicate hunger and malnutrition across the globe.
On a field trip to India, Maria urged the international community to support WFP programs as a way of educating hungry and poor children. She told reporters, “Working side by side with WFP has taught me that each one can make a difference in the fight against hunger. Food can serve as a magnet to bring children to school and change their life.” This Bond Girl believes indifference is the enemy of the fight against hunger.
9. Naomi Watts
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The blonde Aussie actress was named a Special Representative for the United Nation’s program for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in 2006. The star of 21 Grams joined the U.N. program to raise awareness about AIDS and to give a greater voice to the needs of people living with HIV.
Naomi has participated in AIDS summits and recorded a PSA for UNAIDS. In 2006, she headed to Zambia for a fact-finding mission, which highlighted the socio-economic impact of HIV on women and girls.
"In Zambia, I saw first hand the devastating impact of AIDS on individuals, families, and communities,” said Naomi. “I was both humbled and inspired by the strength and courage of the women, men and children I met, who are truly moving mountains to save lives. They are the real heroes in this fight."
Naomi believes everyone can make a difference in the fight against AIDS and HIV.
8. Nicole Kidman
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Academy Award-winning beauty Nicole Kidman once played a United Nations interpreter in the film The Interpreter. Now she actually works for them. Nicole was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in early 2006. Nicole works with the organization to raise awareness of the issues women face around the world.
Last year Nicole was a high profile participant in the U.N.’s "Say NO to Violence Against Women" campaign. She addressed the United Nations, revealing the sobering statistic that one in three women encounter violence against them in some shape or form.
In her speech she said, "I have been UNIFEM's Goodwill Ambassador for more than two years now and I have seen how being born a woman puts you at risk of the most appalling and widespread human rights violation of our time. The "Say NO" campaign provides people all over the world with an opportunity to add their names to an ever-growing movement of people demanding that ending violence against women be made a top priority for governments around the world."
You can join over five million people and say "No" to violence against women by visiting SayNOtoViolence.org.
7. Liya Kebede
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Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian model who has twice appeared on the cover of U.S. Vogue. In 2007 Forbes magazine named her the 11th highest paid model in the world. Liya is more than just a pretty face -- she has a helping hand. In March 2005, she was appointed a World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador. She has made it her life mission to raise awareness of the health risks facing new mothers and infants in her native Ethiopia and around the world.
In accepting her position with the United Nations, Liya made a point of outlining the health risks women face when giving birth in the undeveloped world. She said, “Every day we hear about the dangers of cancer, heart disease and AIDS. But how many of us realize that, in much of the world, the act of giving life to a child is still the biggest killer of women of child-bearing age? That over half a million die every year? Or that three million babies are stillborn? Or that another four million die during the first days and weeks of life?”
Liya also gives back to her native Ethiopia. In 2007, she launched a line of kid clothing that is manufactured in Ethiopia through her charity foundation. The clothes provide jobs and an economic way to rise out of poverty.
6. Catarina Furtado
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Catarina Furtado is one of Portugal’s most popular celebrities. She is an actress, television personality, and a champion of women’s rights. Catarina was appointed a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador in 1999. She has worked tirelessly to educate people about sexual and reproductive health as well as participating each year in the launch of the UNFPA's State of the World Population report.
Catarina is proud of the work she conducts on behalf of the U.N. She says, “Being a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador is being a spokesperson for all the women and children who cannot speak for themselves and who need urgent help. This mission fills me with a huge sense of responsibility. UNFPA fights on a daily basis to ensure that all women, girls, and children are treated with dignity and respect.”
In 2005, Catarina received the "Ordem de Mérito – Comendador" award by the Portuguese Government for her services to humanity.