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Nicole named UN goodwill envoy

The Hollywood star's latest role will be to work with UNIFEM to advance women's rights and gender equality around the world.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 19:50 IST

Hollywood star Nicole Kidman on Friday took on the task of championing women's rights around the world as she was appointed goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

"I am honoured that UNIFEM has asked me to serve as goodwill ambassador and I look forward to a close, long-term relationship," the charismatic 38-year-old Australian actress told a press conference here.

Her latest role will be to work with UNIFEM to advance women's rights and gender equality around the world, with a special focus on issues such as ending violence against women.

"The designation of a goodwill ambassador is reserved for exceptional individuals who are committed to using their visibility for positive change," UNIFEM executive director Noeleen Heyzer said.

"We are honoured to have Nicole join the UNIFEM family."

Kidman said she decided to get involved with UNIFEM after hearing about the fund's work in Cambodia.

She added that she planned to travel with Heyzer this year to meet women around the world, with possible visits to Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Afghanistan and Cambodia.

UNIFEM, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, was established to provide financial and technical assistance to reduce women's poverty, end violence against women, reverse the spread of AIDS among women and girls and support women's leadership in governance and post-conflict reconstruction.

Kidman has already been serving as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund since 1994, but she said she would now focus mainly on her UNIFEM work.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 14:49 IST