Award-winning Hollywood film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Chairman and CEO of the Hyde Park Entertainment Group, Mr. Amritraj is the first Ambassador for the UN in India.
An internationally-renowned iconic filmmaker, Ashok Amritraj has made over 100 films during the span of his 30-year extraordinary career garnering global acclaim as well as worldwide revenues in excess of $2 billion. He has been a pioneering force in bridging India and Hollywood through film and media.
Accepting the honour, Mr. Amritraj said “I look forward to working with the United Nations in India to amplify awareness about the SDGs. It is a tremendous opportunity that brings together my personal desire to serve the country of my birth, and my passion to leverage the power of the media for the creation of diverse, socially-relevant content”.
Welcoming Mr. Amritraj to the UN Family, Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator said, “We look forward to working with Mr. Amritraj as a powerful advocate for the SDGs, and to his support in showcasing innovations and cutting-edge solutions to development challenges that are being generated in India”.
In September 2015, at the UN General Assembly, 193 countries adopted arguably the most ambitious global agenda of our times, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a plan of action for people, planet, prosperity and peace. India played an important role in shaping the global agenda and is critical to its success.
Communications and advocacy which engage governments, organizations and rights holders in a constructive dialogue to advance the SDGs is important. UN Goodwill Ambassadors aim to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and to foster engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.
A passionate believer in the power of the media to effect social change, Mr. Amritraj produced and hosted the acclaimed series, ‘Chance of a Lifetime’ in partnership with the UNHQ in which young filmmakers from Asia competed to create original, short stories highlighting issues related to water, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, migration and education. The winners were feted at the Cannes Film Festival.
The United Nations has a long history of close co-operation with the Government of India and today the United Nations system in India includes 26 organisations that have the privilege to serve in the country.
Ashok Amritraj will be in conversation with Mr. Yuri Afanasiev, United Nations Resident Coordinator at the UN Young Changemakers Conclave on Saturday, 28 January, details of which are available at http://www.youngchangemakersconclave.in/