Edson Arantes Do Nascimento Pelé
The triple football world champion and the recipient of the FIFA award for Best Soccer Player of the Century, Edson Arantes Do Nascimento Pelé joined the ranks of UNESCO in 1994. A highly respected personality all over the world and an idol for youth, Pelé's humanitarian mission has focused on helping children in difficult circumstances. He campaigns against adolescent drug use and promotes sports as a means of social expression.
He supported the Children in Need telethon and fundraising gala which is organised every year by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Ute-Henriette Ohoven. Pelé has donated personal memorabilia to UNESCO campaigns and has given his fame and name to promote UNESCO activities on numerous occasions. His participation in The Match of the Heart 2000 football match held in Rome in support of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, highlights his commitment to bringing together opposing parties through the common language of soccer.