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Wonder named U.N. Messenger of Peace

Dec. 1, 2009 at 8:53 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. singer-songwriter and activist Stevie Wonder has been named a Messenger of Peace, the United Nations announced Tuesday.

Wonder is to be officially presented with the title at a news conference Thursday.

"Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Tuesday.

"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," Ki-moon added. "Stevie Wonder is a true inspiration to young people all over the world about what can be achieved despite any physical limitations."

The famed musician, who was born blind, will join 10 other Messengers of Peace -- individuals recognized for their talents in the arts, academia, literature, sports and entertainment -- in helping to raise worldwide awareness of U.N. 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, the organization noted.

The other Messengers of Peace are conductor Daniel Barenboim, actor George Clooney, author Paulo Coelho, actor Michael Douglas, primatologist Jane Goodall, violinist Midori Goto, Princess Haya Bint al Hussein, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, actress Charlize Theron and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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