ENTERTAINMENT

"Quantico" Actress Priyanka Chopra Appointed As UNICEF's Global Goodwill Ambassador

"My wish for children is freedom. The freedom to think, the freedom to live."

13/12/2016 16:08 SAST | Updated 13/12/2016 16:58 SAST
Andrew Kelly / Reuters
Priyanka Chopra delivers remarks at the UNICEF 70th anniversary event at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., 12 December, 2016.

UNITED NATIONS -- Actress Priyanka Chopra, appointed as UNICEF's newest global Goodwill Ambassador, urged people from across nations to become the 'collective voice' of oppressed children in the world and join forces to leave a better future for the coming generations.

Footballer David Beckham and 12-year-old British actress Millie Bobby Brown announced Chopra's appointment as UNICEF's newest global Goodwill Ambassador at a star-studded celebration here on Monday night to commemorate 70 years of the world body's children's agency.

"My wish for children is freedom. The freedom to think, the freedom to live," Chopra said, addressing top UN diplomats, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and children at the event.

She said while man has made unprecedented advancements in every sphere of life, children across the world remain unprotected from violence, abuse and exploitation.

"I, we ask you to join us today to become the collective voice of the oppressed children across the world in our fight against the injustices that they have to endure everyday," she said.

Chopra lauded decades of efforts by UNICEF on shining the light on children and bringing awareness that "we are seriously endangering our future, which is our children.

"...Let's choose humanity, let's choose to act now, let's choose to fight now and let's choose to ensure a better world for our children, their children and the generations to come," Chopra said.

The Quantico star was joined by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Ishmael Beah, Beckham, actors Orlando Bloom and Jackie Chan at the event that celebrated UNICEF's 70 years of work for children.

Chopra said her involvement with UNICEF began almost 10 years ago in India and she was 'humbled, enriched and committed' as she takes on her new role of the agency's global Goodwill Ambassador.

"Along this decade old journey, with UNICEF, I have been on many field trips to villages and centers across India. On those trips, I spent time with numerous young girls and their families and experienced firsthand the transformative power of empowering young girls with opportunities that are rightfully theirs. Together, with my fellow, dedicated ambassadors, I am now proud to stand with UNICEF to help build a world where children's rights are respected and protected," she said.

Celebrating Chopra's appointment, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said, "Priyanka Chopra is already a champion for India's children -- and as a UNICEF global Goodwill Ambassador, she will be a force for children and adolescents everywhere."

The anniversary celebration, which was led by the next generation of young celebrities and other young people, demonstrated the impact of UNICEF's work over seven decades to protect the rights of the world"s most vulnerable children.

"This celebration of UNICEF's 70th anniversary belongs to those for whom UNICEF was created in the first place: children. And it also belongs to the thousands of UNICEF staff and our partners whose work in some of the world's most dangerous and difficult places has touched the lives of millions of children. What can be more important?" Lake said.

Bloom conducted an onstage discussion with child refugee Mustafa Al Said, who fled conflict in his native Syria and now lives in Germany.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ishmael Beah spoke about his experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone and his work advocating against the recruitment of children into armed groups.

The Bajirao Mastani star later thanked Beckham and Brown for welcoming her into the UNICEF's international family.

"Thank you David Beckham and Millie Bobby Brown for inducting me into the UNICEF global family. Always delighted to meet like-minded people who believe that there is humanity left inside in us after all," she tweeted.

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