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Naomi Watts appointed UNAIDS ambassador

The Hollywood actress said she could 'no longer stand and watch people die' due to the pandemic.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 14:04 IST

Oscar award nominee and renowned Hollywood actress Naomi Watts has been appointed as the ambassador for UNAIDS, a UN body for global response to the deadly HIV/AIDS.

Watts who joined the United Nations-led fight against AIDS, after a five-day visit to Zambia, said she could "no longer stand and watch people die" and urged people to join the battle against the pandemic.

"I urge people all over the world to join this effort because I, too, am learning that there is a role for each and every one of us," she remarked after her appointment as ambassador for UNAIDS, an umbrella organisation of the UN for fighting the AIDS, especially in Africa where it has known to destroy societies.

The United Nations has been using high-profile figures in politics, sports, entertainment industry and other fields to place focus on its various programmes.

When asked whether she supported the George W Bush administration's emphasis on abstinence to fight the disease, the 37-year-old actress tried to play safe.

"While it is probably the safest way to avoid it, it is impossible for certain people to practice it. So I am big believer in use of contraception," said the star of films like King Kong, The Ring and Muholland Drive.

"AIDS, she continued, "is not just about facts and figures, but about faces and families."

Watts also said she wished to fight stigmatisation and discrimination as "that was one of the things that seemed to be hurting everyone in Zambia."