Naomi Watts, UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador
Naomi Watts, the renowned actress and Oscar nominee has starred in such internationally-acclaimed films as King Kong, The Ring, 21 Grams, and Mulholland Drive. In her role as UNAIDS goodwill Ambassador, Naomi Watts helps to raise awareness on issues related to AIDS and give greater voice to the needs of people living with HIV worldwide.
UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Naomi Watts has used her celebrity status to put AIDS on the agenda in several ways.
On 1 December Naomi 2009, Naomi Watts, together with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, joined leaders and entertainment stars in the AIDS response at a dramatic public event commemorating World AIDS Day 2009 at New York City’s historic Washington Square Park Memorial Arch.
In her address Ms. Watts highlighted the injustice of stigma. “It has been both unfortunate and unfair for HIV infection to be considered a shameful disease, for people living with HIV to be judged as blameworthy, and for AIDS to be equated with certain death. I have personally seen that dignity and hope have been strongest among those whose lives were changed by HIV.”
In May 2006 she undertook a UNAIDS-led fact-finding mission to Zambia to draw attention to the socio-economic impact of HIV on women and girls. “In Zambia, I saw first hand the devastating impact of AIDS on individuals, families, and communities,” said Ms. Watts. “I was both humbled and inspired by the strength and courage of the women, men and children I met, who are truly moving mountains to save lives. They are the real heroes in this fight.”
“I have seen that everyone of us can make a difference – and I am anxious to join UNAIDS in this effort,” she continued.
During the United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York in May 2006, Naomi participated in a number of AIDS awareness activities, including launching the 21st Annual AIDS Walk in New York and participating as a member of the international jury at the inaugural AIDS Red Ribbon Awards. Naomi is also involved in numerous fundraising events.