Nicolas Cage new UNODC ambassador for justice

Photo:UNODC: Nicolas Cage in Gulu, Uganda4 December 2009 - Acclaimed actor and filmmaker Nicolas Cage has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice for UNODC.

The appointment was made by UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa at the fourteenth annual benefit dinner of the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA), in New York. On that occasion, Mr. Cage was also awarded the UNCA Global Citizen of the Year Award for Humanitarian Achievements.

[Slideshow of Nicolas Cage in Eastern Africa]

The Academy Award winning actor has starred in some 65 major motion pictures. He won an Oscar for Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas and was later nominated for his dual performances in Adaptation. He is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award, two MTV Movie Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award, among others, as well as having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"My real life role as UNODC Goodwill Ambassador will certainly be even more challenging and meaningful than those I have portrayed on screen", said Mr. Cage.

Mr. Costa said: "Nicolas Cage's characters have exposed us to some of the darkest aspects of human nature. Now he is championing one of the most noble - the quest for justice. The Lord of War has become a messenger for peace, the Bad Lieutenant has turned into a good cop, and the inmate from Con Air has become a champion of prison reform. His star status and strong conviction on these issues will help us achieve security and justice for all."

Mr. Cage, who has produced, directed and acted in films often dealing with issues of global justice, terrorism, arms trafficking, sex crimes and drug trafficking, has already worked closely with UNODC. In May 2009, he launched "Welcome to Gulu", a benefit exhibition at United Nations Headquarters in New York, featuring paintings by former Ugandan child soldiers and abducted girls.

Recently, Mr. Cage returned from a week-long mission with UNODC to Uganda and Kenya that focused on the recruitment of child soldiers and other forms of human trafficking, as well as piracy, prison conditions, HIV and AIDS and drug addiction.

As UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice, Nicolas Cage will use the performing arts as an engine for global justice and victim support. "I intend to shine the spotlight on the need for global justice, publicize all the good work that UNODC is doing and highlight how we can all make a difference," said Mr. Cage upon accepting his appointment.

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