Everything You Need To Know About Goodwill Ambassadors For UN

United Nations is renowned as a prominent body that brings the most crucial global issues into the concentration so that numerous country representatives can brainstorm these effectively. This has been into the place for a substantial while now, and a myriad of world concerns have been successfully tackled due to UN sessions. Several undertakings carried out by this organization aim towards global peace and dealing with issues that most have a selfless cause.

This article focuses on shedding some vital light on the functioning of goodwill ambassadors for the United Nations and the way these are appointed. This way, you can assess how selflessly people have been fighting for the global crisis without demanding any monetary profit.

Who are goodwill ambassadors?

These ambassadors are mainly responsible when it comes to instilling a considerable amount of disruption on a worldwide scale. If this term sounds familiar to brand ambassador, know that a goodwill ambassador doesn’t have any monetary leverage out of the causes he/she fight for. Thus, it becomes pivotal to narrow down to a detailed understanding of these ambassadors and how the UN relies on them in order to bring underrated yet grave issues into attention. It’s not necessary that such an ambassador has to reside in the same country that they are representing. 


Apart from being an ardent traveller, a goodwill ambassador can also decide to live in a different country when it comes to handling numerous projects. These projects specifically include visiting several regions in order to exercise diplomatic procedures that can give these individuals an in-depth idea of the extent of issues they are focused on. Over the years, this has enabled nations to ensure better diplomatic relations, along with being an active participant in other countries’ woes. 

Why are they important?

A goodwill ambassador functions at the forefront of the United Nations’ efforts and commences projects in worldwide areas. These individuals tend to reach out promptly so that extensive reports can be chalked out to help assess the issue in a better manner. The primary focus here is to work on maintaining innate peace such that the world can viably become a better place. And for this, goodwill ambassadors perform a pivotal role when it comes to representing the United Nations and its ideologies. This also becomes clear by the amount of essentiality the UN puts forward into having these individuals appointed, as well as overviewing their approaches.

Subsequently, a goodwill ambassador can be stated as a prominent person who not only has a definite idea of the UN’s vision but also works hand in hand with its specified methodology. This assists in bringing critical world concerns into global recognition so that most experienced minds can brainstorm in order to chalk out feasible solutions for the same. There are regular humanitarian activities that remain particularly within the hands of these ambassadors so that governments can lend help during the time of unanticipated crisis.

Appointment of the UN’s goodwill ambassador

Since these individuals hold a tremendous amount of vitality, the UN needs to remain proactive about the way they are appointed. This is why the entire recruitment procedure is carefully evaluated so that any anomalies can be promptly figured out. However, when it comes to the actual designation method, these ambassadors are primarily appointed by the heads of United Nations Funds. At the same time, there are specific other organizations that also have a vital role in this process so that suitable candidates can be selected for numerous ventures. Talking about which, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the World Food Programme (WFP) are the essential bodies that maintain the needed control over the designation routine. 

However, this isn’t a new process at all, as the first set of these ambassadors was appointed back in 1958 — exactly when this term was coined too. The recruitment routine has gone through a series of amendments since then so that the complete process can be fine-tuned to hunt the viable candidates. With “Guidelines for the Designation of Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace” coming into effect since 2003, the appointment process has become way more effective than before. On top of it, the Secretary-General of the UN tends to endorse these selected individuals so that their functionalities can be adequately carried out. Alongside this, the Secretary-General also works in proximity with these assigned ambassadors so that they can be guided whenever needed. 

Organizations employing goodwill ambassadors

A goodwill ambassador can promptly benefit a significant number of organizations so that their campaigns can effectively reach out to a broader set of audiences. This becomes possible because of the diplomatic powers these individuals hold, which can be immensely powerful in highlighting as well as aiding critical situations. Goodwill ambassador programs are also run by a wide number of intergovernmental groups, along with being handled by the United Nations bodies. For this, selected personnel are awarded goodwill ambassador recognition as an account of extending the honours to them. These ambassadors also render assistance related to multiple fundraising as well as social agendas run by the organizations. At times, UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF, and the UN Development Programme bring out an extensive set of opportunities for a goodwill ambassador so that their abilities can be leveraged. 

Awards presented to these ambassadors

Ranging from renowned scientists to well-known social activities, appointed ambassadors tend to be from numerous walks of life while holding a recognizable amount of experience. Also, celebrities, authors, and social figures are given an upper hand when it comes to picking deserving candidates, as these are expected to represent the government and the UN as well. 

For instance; Trevor Noah, being a comedian, was presented with the South African Goodwill Ambassador Award in the year 2015. Moreover, Alex Okoroji is an actress who was given a Nigeria Goodwill Ambassador Award in the recent year of 2017. Yet another famous personality who is counted under these ambassadors is Patience Jonathan (former first lady of Nigeria), who received the African Goodwill Ambassador Award in the year of 2008.