[Dateline: New York | Author: iSeek]
Acclaimed actor and filmmaker Nicolas Cage was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The appointment was made by UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa at the UN Correspondent’s Association (UNCA) 14th Annual Benefit Dinner in New York 4 December.
Mr. Cage was also awarded UNCA’s Global Citizen of the Year Award for Humanitarian Achievements.
“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, who has produced, directed and acted in films often dealing with issues of global justice, terrorism, arms trafficking, sex crimes, and drug trafficking, and who has already worked closely with UNODC.
In May 2009 he launched the Office’s "Welcome to Gulu" benefit exhibition at UN headquarters in New York featuring paintings by former child soldiers and abducted girls.
Mr. Cage recently returned from a week-long mission with UNODC to Uganda and Kenya which focused on child soldiers and other forms of human trafficking, as well as piracy, prison conditions, HIV/AIDS and drug addiction. During this mission he conducted an acting workshop for former child soldiers and abducted girls.
Mr. Cage has starred in some 65 major motion pictures, including Moonstruck, Wild at Heart, Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Con Air, The Family Man, Adaptation, National Treasure, Lord of War, World Trade Center, Ghost Rider, Knowing and The Bad Lieutenant.
He received an Academy Award for Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas and was later nominated for another Academy Award for his dual performances in Adaptation. He is also the recipient of a Golden Globe Award, two MTV Movie Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other distinctions.
Mr. Cage has shown a long-standing commitment to global
justice and philanthropy, including as an Amnesty International advocate.
He has donated two million dollars to establish a fund to help former child soldiers and to provide support for rehabilitation shelters, medical services and psychological and reintegration services. He has also used a campaign around his film Lord of War to raise awareness about international arms control and campaigned to support such causes and organizations as Heal the Bay, the Red Cross, the United Negro College Fund, Hurricane Katrina reconstruction efforts, and the Royal United Hospital's Forever Friends Appeal to build intensive care units for babies.