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Hollywood star appointed UN Ambassador
24 June 2010

On 5 June 2010 Hollywood actor Don Cheadle, who stared in the award wining film ‘Hotel Rwanda’, was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations environment agency during a special ceremony in Rwanda to mark World Environment Day. Mr Cheadle was also given the great privalidge of announcing the new name of a baby mountain gorilla during the annual Kwita Izina ceremony. The name “Zoya” was chosen online by around 3,400 people around the planet and means light and life in a number of different languages.

 “It is an honour to welcome such an icon as Don Cheadle to this important role. UNEP does not appoint Goodwill Ambassadors lightly. Through his humanitarian work and his passion for the environment, Mr. Cheadle will raise green awareness among millions of people around the planet and draw attention to ways we can deal with issues like pollution and environmental-based conflict,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, who joined Mr Cheadle in the event, which was also attended by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Cheadle has a strong record of humanitarian and environmental advocacy, including work on clean energy and active campaigning for genocide victims. In 2009, he appeared in the UN Seal the Deal! campaign's public service announcement on climate change.

“I am surprised the environment is not at the top of the agenda. What is more important than clean air and a healthy planet? I hope this designation as UNEP Goodwill Ambassador will give me the opportunity to motivate the public to take action and bring people together to tackle environmental challenges,” said Cheadle.

In his capacity as UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Dom Cheadle will use the influential voice of the entertainment industry to mobilize the public to embrace more sustainable lifestyles, promote the greening of the entertainment industry and other sectors, and take part in UNEP public outreach initiatives.

for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123