23.05.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Brazilians Nizan Guanaes, Oskar Metsavaht and Vik Muniz named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors

Oskar Metsavaht (© Márcio Madeira), Nizan Guanaes (© Edu Lopes), and Vik Muniz (© Barney Kulok) - from left to right.

Three Brazilian personalities - businessman Nizan Guanaes, designer Oskar Metsavaht and artist Vik Muniz - will be named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors for a period of two years by Director-General Irina Bokova at a ceremony on 27 May at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (1 pm, 7th floor).

Nizan Guanaes, 52, is the chairman of Grupo ABC de Comunicação, which brings together 18 advertising, marketing, content and entertainment companies. In June 2010 he was profiled by the Financial Times as one of the five most influential Brazilians in the world. Mr Guanaes is also the President of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen Friends of UNESCO, which he founded in 2004 with Oskar Metsavaht. He will be designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of his continuous work over the years supporting UNESCO´s actions in education, social inclusion and empowerment of vulnerable groups.

Oskar Metsavaht, born in 1961, trained as an orthopaedist. In 1997 he created the sportswear label Osklen, which promotes a philosophy of living in harmony with the environment. He is also the founder of Instituto-E, a non-profit organization in Rio de Janeiro promoting sustainable human development through its e-brigaders, groups of young people working for sustainable development, environmental protection and social inclusion. These groups have participated in numerous UNESCO activities in Brazil.

Mr Metsavaht is Vice-President of the Association of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs Friends of UNESCO. He will be designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of his continuous work over the years supporting UNESCO´s actions in the culture of peace, social inclusion and sustainable development.

Artist Vik Muniz, born in São Paulo in 1961, has lived in New York (USA) since the late 1980s. He uses photography to immortalize the images he creates with materials as varied as sugar, chocolate, diamonds, dust, recycled objects etc. He has shown his work in major museums and galleries around the world. His documentary film “Waste Land” (2010), which won awards at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Film Festival and at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, is based on one of his projects. He will be designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of his contributions to education and social development through his artistic career and his dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

Following their nominations, the three new Ambassadors, who were already working closely with UNESCO, are expected to make even greater contributions to the Organization’s actions on behalf of vulnerable groups in Brazil and elsewhere.

The UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors are an outstanding group of celebrity advocates who use their talent and fame to spread the ideals of the Organization. Nizan Guanaes, Oskar Metsavaht and Vik Muniz will join a roster that also includes former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Cuban ballerina and choreographer Alicia Alonso and the Princess of Hanover.




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