Chinese pianist Lang Lang has been named a United Nations messenger of peace at a designation ceremony held on 28 October at the United Nations’ New York headquarters.
The pianist joins 11 other messengers of peace and one goodwill ambassador, who advocate on behalf of the United Nations and its projects across the world. Lang Lang has been designated in connection with secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s Global Education First project.
Lang Lang was named a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 2004, since when he has taken part in a number of launches, publicity for appeals and fundraising events.
In selecting Lang Lang for the UN designation, Ban Ki-moon said: ‘As goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, you have used your unique ability to inspire audiences around the world to help improve the lives of children. I am pleased that you will now be promoting global education, a key driver of human progress and well-being. I look forward to working with you to advance my Global Education First Initiative.’
In October 2008 the Lang Lang International Music Foundation was launched with a mission ‘to inspire and motivate the next generation of classical music lovers and performers, and to encourage music performance at all levels as a means of social development for youth, building self-confidence and a drive for excellence’.
‘The foundation operates with the conviction that music is a universal language and that music can open opportunities for communication, understanding and acceptance.’
The other messengers of peace are: Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan; musicians Daniel Barenboim, Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, and Stevie Wonder; actors George Clooney, Michael Douglas and Charlize Theron; author Paulo Coelho; scientist and environmentalist Jane Goodall; and writer and academic Elie Wiesel. Actor Edward Norton is a goodwill ambassador.
For more on the UN Messengers of Peace, click here.