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Actor Peter Ustinov UNICEF Ambassador Dies At 82

Actor Peter Ustinov, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, Dies At 82

United Nations officials today mourned the death of actor Peter Ustinov, who served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for more than 30 years, speaking out on behalf of millions of boys and girls around the world.

“The children of the world have lost a true friend in Sir Peter Ustinov,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. “Sir Peter had a magical way with children and an inimitable way of making their problems matter to people all over the world.

“He was one of UNICEF’s most effective and beloved partners, a man who exemplified the idea that one person can make a world of difference,” she added.

A statement issued by a spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan remembered Mr. Ustinov’s “exceptional wit, intelligence and creativity,” which “were fully matched by his compassion, conscience and character.

“Not only did his talents bring joy to millions of people, he served UNICEF with dedication and distinction for more than three decades to bring attention to the needs of children everywhere,” the statement said.

“The Secretary-General extends his condolences to Sir Peter’s wife and family, and joins his admirers around the world in giving thanks for the life of this incurable optimist, remarkable world citizen and steadfast friend of the United Nations,” it added.

Mr. Ustinov, 82, was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1968 and travelled to such places as China, Russia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Kenya, Egypt and Thailand, lobbying governments to recognize the rights of children and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for UNICEF’s programmes to ensure that all youngsters survive and thrive through adolescence.

Mr. Ustinov hosted scores of international television specials and benefit concerts for UNICEF, blending entertainment and education to bring global attention to issues facing the world’s children.

“Sir Peter never lost his belief that the world could change, and that even children living in the most heartbreaking conditions could see a better future,” Ms. Bellamy said. “We will miss him terribly, but will keep his memory alive the best way we know – by emulating his unwavering commitment to give children everywhere the life they deserve.”

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