Secretary-general designates Stevie Wonder: United Nations messenger of peace.



UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appoints Stevie Wonder as a messenger of Peace at UN headquarters in New York on December 4, 2009.

New York (Press Release, Note No. 6234, Department of Public Information * News and Media Division * New York).

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder (United States) as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on people with disabilities. His designation will be officially announced at a press conference at United Nations Headquarters on Thursday, 3 December 2009.

Recognized for his ability to focus attention on and mobilize support for civil and human rights issues, Stevie Wonder joins ten other United Nations Messengers of Peace who advocate on behalf of the Organization.

Messengers of Peace are individuals who possess widely recognized talents in the fields of art, academia, literature, sports and entertainment, helping to raise worldwide awareness of the Organization s ideals and activities. Through their public appearances, contacts with the international media and humanitarian work, they expand public understanding of how the United Nations helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.

In selecting Stevie Wonder for this designation, the Secretary-General said, "Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people. I recognize that he has consistently used his voice and special relationship with the public to create a better and more inclusive world, to defend civil and human rights and to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Stevie Wonder is a true inspiration to young people all over the world about what can be achieved despite any physical limitations."

Stevie Wonder s activism has been pivotal in United States and world events. In 1983, he spearheaded a campaign to make Martin Luther King Day a national holiday in the United States. He also advocated for ending apartheid in South Africa.

Stevie Wonder has been recognized for his philanthropic efforts which include the United States President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the Children s Diabetes Foundation, Junior Blind of America and the creation of the Wonder Vision Awards Program. For over 10 years, he has provided toys for children and families in need with his annual House Full of Toys benefit concert.

His career as a recording...

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