SOCCER STAR MILLA
AS UN AMBASSADOR
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ November 30th 2001 ]
Cameroon soccer star Roger Milla became a United
Nations goodwill ambassador on Thursday and promised
to use his popularity to highlight the dangers
of AIDS in Africa.
who led Cameroon's Indomitable Lions during their
historic drive to the 1990 World Cup quarterfinals,
will represent the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS.
His appointment comes ahead of World AIDS Day,
held every Dec 1. The 49-year-old ex-striker told
reporters he was "moved and honored" to join the
ranks of international celebrities who travel
the world advertising the work of the United Nations.
the first clinical evidence of AIDS appeared 20
years ago, more than 22 million people have died.
AIDS kills more people than any other disease
in sub-Saharan Africa, which has been hit hardest
by the epidemic. "This is more than an epidemic
- it's a social crisis," said Milla. "AIDS throws
millions of orphans onto the streets, forces young
girls into prostitution, ruins their chances of
governments and ordinary people need to do more
to stop discrimination against AIDS sufferers
and support bereaved family members. He said he
planned to tour African nations next year to publicize
the U.N. fight against AIDS.
Cravero, deputy director of UNAIDS, said Milla
will have a powerful influence on young people
on the continent. "Roger Milla's status as a sports
star will help us spread the message to young
people - that they need to change their behavior,"
three-quarters of the world's 12 million AIDS
sufferers aged under 24 live in Africa, and the
U.N. says many continue to practice unsafe sex
despite warnings that it can spread AIDS. Since
1954, when the late comedian Danny Kaye became
the first goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Children's
Fund, leading personalities in the arts, sports
and public life have promoted the work of the
ambassadors include boxing great Muhammad Ali,
soccer stars Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, basketball
legend Magic Johnson, actors Michael Douglas and
Angelina Jolie and singer Geri Halliwell