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Message from the Secretary-General

A word from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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The UN knows drama. Our staff work and live in some of the toughest circumstances on earth. When cyclones hit, when wars break out, when people flee their homes, the UN is there, working long after the media frenzy has subsided. With our network of field offices and specialized agencies around the world, we work from the top down with governments and experts to deal with humanitarian crises, armed conflicts, and countless health and environmental issues.

We work on behalf of those who have been silenced; we work to change their life stories for the better. Yet many of these stories remain untold. You in the creative community have a powerful voice, working to personally affect each viewer through recreating the drama we face on a daily basis.

Your good work has already borne fruit. Many people had never heard about the role of gems in war until they saw Blood Diamond. The Constant Gardener helped to shine a light on the questionable role of some multi-national -corporations in developing countries. The very human portrayal of a man discriminated against because of his HIV-positive status in Philadelphia asked the world to consider the cost of stigma and fear associated with the illness.

It is my unique hope that the UN can collaborate with the creative community to welcome the next phase of globalization, one in which we take collective ownership of the world’s challenges. This is why I have decided to launch the Creative Community Outreach Initiative at the UN, specifically designed to forge meaningful and productive relationships with the entertainment industry.

Awareness is a powerful weapon in the face of injustice because it inspires compassionate action. Through creative media, we can bring honour, empathy, and compassion to our stories, and, ultimately, to the people who live them.

Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary-General