Photo: Ugly Betty to the Rescue
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today asked television producers and artists in Spain, Portugal and Latin America to use their imaginative talents to find new ways to help solve challenges related to the environment, women’s empowerment, organized crime and drug trafficking.
In a video message to the Iberoamerican Creative Summit being held in Aviles, Spain, the Secretary-General said “Please use your visual sense, your narrative touch, your imaginative gifts to find new ways to tackle old problems.”
The meeting is the latest in a series of such one-day forums, organized by the UN Creative Community Outreach Initiative (CCOI) to provide film, new media, television, and documentary producers around the world with access to information about the work of the UN and its priority issues.
The forum in Spain discussed gender equality and empowerment of women, environmental sustainability, combating drugs and crime and their effects, and organized crime.
“We will never solve these challenges unless we shed light on them. The spotlight is in your hands,” Mr. Ban said.
“You are artists. I am a diplomat. But we all feel pain when we hear about a father killed in war, or a mother lost to disease, or a child who dies of hunger,” he said. “We all want to stop these tragedies in our world. I am doing my part as Secretary-General, but only you can reach mass audiences.”
The UN has collaborated with the entertainment industry on a number of CCOI projects, including an episode of the United States television series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit that was filmed at the UN Headquarters complex in New York and highlighted the problems of children and armed conflict and refugees.
A UN-backed campaign to raise awareness about malaria – which claims over one million lives annually – also had a starring role on the US television program Ugly Betty.