Tuesday, May 30, 2006

ISTANBUL - Turkish singer Muazzez Ersoy was appointed as UN Goodwill Ambassador by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Ersoy signed a protocol with UNHCR Turkey Representative Gesche Karrenbrock in Istanbul today.

Ersoy said, ``I have undertaken an important mission. I will help refugee families. I will give concerts and participate in campaigns to support them.``

UNHCR started to work with Goodwill Ambassadors in the early 1980s, when Richard Burton and James Mason were first appointed to make media statements and public appearances for the refugee cause. Today, five UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors with very different professional and personal backgrounds use their talents and time to advocate for refugees: Barbara Hendricks (named in 1987), Adel Imam (2000), Angelina Jolie (2001), Giorgio Armani (2002) and Julien Clerc (2003). Goodwill Ambassadors communicate the message of respect and compassion for refugees to the general public in a uniquely powerful way; they capture massive public attention through public events, television shows, radio interviews and popular magazine articles. They effectively use their privileged access to mass media and other resources to give a voice to refugees, who are often victims of forgotten humanitarian crises and who often suffer from uninformed negative stereotyping. Goodwill Ambassadors also voice their support for refugees in meetings with world leaders, diplomats, teachers, national and community officials, as well as the public at large.

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