Michelle Yeoh appointed as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

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Michelle Yeoh visits road crash victims at a hospital in Vietnam.
Michelle Yeoh visits road crash victims at a hospital in Vietnam.
Michelle Yeoh speaks to a road engineer in India.
Michelle Yeoh speaks to a road engineer in India.
Michelle Yeoh speaks to children at a helmet wearing campaign event in Cambodia.
Michelle Yeoh speaks to children at a helmet wearing campaign event in Cambodia.
Michelle Yeoh road safety campaigning in South Africa.
Michelle Yeoh road safety campaigning in South Africa.

Actress and road safety activist Michelle Yeoh has been appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The award winning actress will focus on raising awareness and mobilising support for the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“I want to be there for all those who are left behind in this world, whether it’s because they are born poor, born a woman or born in an area affected by devastation,” said Michelle Yeoh, speaking at a press conference held at UNDP headquarters in New York City. “As a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, I want to do all I can to help people overcome barriers and have a shot at a better life, in a safer world, on a healthier planet.”

“We are truly excited to welcome someone as energetic and passionate as Michelle Yeoh to our global UNDP family,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “This is a critically important year for development and for UNDP, as we challenge ourselves and the world to implement the new global goals. We need strong partners like Michelle to join our efforts to make the shared vision of a brighter, stronger future a reality for us all.”

Since 2008 Michelle has been a road safety ambassador, for the Make Roads Safe campaign and the FIA Foundation. She is currently the Spokesperson for the FIA’s High Level Panel for Road Safety. Michelle Yeoh began working with the FIA Foundation in 2008, and has visited many countries on behalf of the Foundation. She led the ‘Call for a Decade of Action’ in 2008-2009 and spoke on the issue at the UN General Assembly on behalf of her own country, Malaysia, in 2010 and 2014. Her work supporting road safety in Cambodia was recognised by the Deputy Prime Minister in 2014. She is also a prominent supporter of the #SaveKidsLives campaign.

Internationally acclaimed for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Ang Lee’s multiple Academy Award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and its recently released sequel; and portraying Aung San Suu Kyi in Luc Besson’s biopic The Lady, Michelle Yeoh has transferred her skills to the small screen in two BBC documentaries on road safety, produced by the FIA Foundation. For the documentaries, Michelle spoke with road traffic victims, argued on screen with highway engineers, visited hospitals and dodged traffic to highlight the need for action.

See Michelle Yeoh meeting children leaving school amidst the traffic of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, in this short film for the #SaveKidsLives campaign

(Main photo credit - Dylan Lowthian / UNDP)