Antonio Banderas Joins the UN

You loved him in Philadelphia, saw his performance lacking in The Mask of Zorro,  now, Antonio Banderas will take on his next role: goodwill ambassdor for the United Nations Development Program.  From the UN News Center:

Mr. Banderas will advocate for the poor and push for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight globally-agreed targets with a 2015 deadline to halve world poverty, with a focus on Africa and Latin America.

“Poverty robs us of our potential as a people, preventing us from being all that we can be,” he said, underscoring the importance of mobilizing all efforts to tackle the scourge.

Yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a new report, entitled Keeping the Promise, in which he unveils a new action plan aimed at getting governments, civil society actors, private businesses, philanthropy and the multilateral system to act “efficiently, effectively and collectively.”

With just five years to go before the 2015 deadline, he said that progress has been uneven and without an accelerated action plan several Goals are likely to be missed in many countries.

“Despite hard economic times, despite lagging progress on many fronts, we can still achieve the Millennium Development Goals by our target date of 2015,” he told reporters at his monthly press conference in New York.

With a decade of efforts towards achieving the MDGs already under the world’s belt, “we know what works and what doesn’t,” with lessons learned on how to best utilize new technologies, national development policies and better governance, he noted.

As Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. Banderas hopes to raise the profile of the MDG Achievement Fund, set up in 2006 with a $700 million contribution by Spain to accelerate progress on reaching the Goals.

My understanding is that Ban Ki Moon’s introduction of Banderas went something like this: