United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on people with disabilities.
A Messenger of Peace for the UN is a high-profile entertainer, sportsperson, leader of academia, or literature who is charged with making international public appearances to promote the public understanding of improving the quality of life on planet Earth. Big job, big responsibility, and hugely important.
Stevie’s no stranger to reaching out–he is a participant in so many campaigns and projects for others, from hit fund-raising songs “We Are the World” and “That’s What Friends Are For” to numerous campaigns for people with disabilities. In selecting Stevie Wonder for this designation, the Secretary-General said, “Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people. I recognize that he has consistently used his voice and special relationship with the public to create a better and more inclusive world, to defend civil and human rights and to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Stevie Wonder is a true inspiration to young people all over the world about what can be achieved despite any physical limitations.”
Of course, Stevie is in good company. Other Messengers of Peace include, among others, George Clooney (for peacekeeping), Paulo Coelho (for poverty and intercultural dialogue), Michael Douglas (for disarmament), Jane Goodall (for conservation and environmental issues), Yo-Yo Ma (for youth), Charlize Theron (for ending violence against women), and Elie Wiesel (for human rights).