• Text size Normal size text | Increase text size by 10% | Increase text size by 20% | Increase text size by 30%

Giorgio Armani to be named UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

News Stories, 28 May 2002

© Armani Group
Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is UNHCR's latest Goodwill Ambassador. Photo courtesy of and

MODENA, Italy, May 28 (UNHCR) In recognition of his work with refugees, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani will be named as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador at the annual "Pavarotti and Friends" concert this evening.

"I am proud to welcome Giorgio Armani as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, and grateful to him for accepting the role," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers in a press release on Tuesday.

Armani has been working with UNHCR over the past year in a personal capacity and through his company by lending support to the agency's public awareness and fundraising efforts for refugees, especially during emergencies. He responded to the crisis in Afghanistan by starting the Giorgio Armani Christmas campaign for Afghan refugees. It included a substantial donation, the placement of public awareness and fundraising advertisements in international and Italian media, and direct support by the Armani Group through the sale of specially-designed sweatshirts and promotion of donations by Giorgio Armani customers.

"I was impressed by Giorgio Armani's rapid and effective mobilisation of his company's resources in response to my emergency appeal for Afghan refugees last year," said Lubbers. "He was active on several fronts including fundraising and drawing public attention to the crisis. He will be a great partner to UNHCR in mobilising support for some of the world's most unfortunate and needy people."

Armani replied, "I have always admired the tireless work of UNHCR. I am accepting this role with humility, recognising that the challenges for the world's refugees are significant. But I have always believed that each individual has an opportunity to make a difference, and I hope that I may have a chance to do just that. Ultimately we all have to assume responsibility for making the world a better place. I am particularly committed to assisting young refugees gain the means to rebuild their lives. After all, children are our future."

The new Goodwill Ambassador will visit refugee camps later this year to learn more about UNHCR's education and vocational training projects. Among his other activities, he plans to provide support for UNHCR income-generating projects for refugees.

Other UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors include American actress Angelina Jolie, Swedish-American classical singer Barbara Hendricks and Egyptian actor Adel Imam.

Armani's appointment will be made at the annual charity concert of another UNHCR benefactor, Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. This year's concert, which also stars Sting, Lou Reed, Andrea Bocelli, James Brown and other major musical celebrities, will benefit Angolan refugees in Zambia.

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

Barbara Hendricks and UNHCR

Hendricks' activities for refugees since 1986.

Barbara Hendricks Biography

Read about Hendricks' life and career.

Muazzez Ersoy Biography

A Turkish singing delight.

George Dalaras Biography

A star among the pantheon of stars.

George Dalaras and UNHCR

Read about Dalaras's long link with UNHCR.

Muazzez Ersoy and UNHCR

Learn about Muazzez Ersoy's links with UNHCR.

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets Iraqi refugees in Syria

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie returned to the Syrian capital Damascus on 2 October, 2009 to meet Iraqi refugees two years after her last visit. The award-winning American actress, accompanied by her partner Brad Pitt, took the opportunity to urge the international community not to forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who remain in exile despite a relative improvement in the security situation in their homeland. Jolie said most Iraqi refugees cannot return to Iraq in view of the severe trauma they experienced there, the uncertainty linked to the coming Iraqi elections, the security issues and the lack of basic services. They will need continued support from the international community, she said. The Goodwill Ambassador visited the homes of two vulnerable Iraqi families in the Jaramana district of southern Damascus. She was particularly moved during a meeting with a woman from a religious minority who told Jolie how she was physically abused and her son tortured after being abducted earlier this year in Iraq and held for days. They decided to flee to Syria, which has been a generous host to refugees.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets Iraqi refugees in Syria

Barbara Hendricks marks 25 years with UNHCR

Acclaimed soprano Barbara Hendricks has spent a quarter-of-a-century helping UNHCR to spread awareness about refugees and lobbying on their behalf with politicians and governments. She was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and, in 2002, was appointed Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of her long service for the refugee agency.

In 2012, UNHCR celebrates this landmark 25th anniversary with a ceremony in the Geneva headquarters of the refugee agency. In her years with UNHCR, Hendricks has performed fund-raising concerts, met policymakers and government leaders in Europe, Asia and Africa and been on more than a dozen visits to the field, meeting the forcibly displaced around the world. UNHCR salutes its longest serving Goodwill Ambassador.

Barbara Hendricks marks 25 years with UNHCR

Iraq: Khaled Hosseini VisitPlay video

Iraq: Khaled Hosseini Visit

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Khaled Hosseini, a former refugee from Afghanistan, met Syrian refugees during a trip to northern Iraq. The best-selling novelist talked to many of the refugees, including an aspiring young writer.
Barbara HendricksPlay video

Barbara Hendricks

UNHCR's Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador marks 25 years with the agency.
Khaled Hosseini - No one chooses to be a refugeePlay video

Khaled Hosseini - No one chooses to be a refugee

UNHCR's 2012 World Refugee Day global social advocacy campaign, "Dilemmas", aims to help fight intolerance and xenophobia against refugees. UNHCR Goodwill Envoy Khaled Hosseini and a host of other celebrities echo the same strong message: No one chooses to be a refugee.