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Tuesday, 14 December, 1999, 11:59 GMT
Sarandon's diplomatic role

Susan Sarandon presents Unicef's report on the world's children

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon is the latest in a long line of celebrities to be appointed a Special Representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

The Hollywood star began her good work by helping to launch Unicef's report on The State of the World's Children 2000 in New York.

Sarandon, 53, said she was "deeply honoured" to be representing the children's agency and felt as if "all my public work was leading me to this".

Geri's work for the UN took her to the Philippines this summer
"My intent is to speak on behalf of those whose voices are less readily heard - children and women at risk," she said.

The Unicef report warns that poverty, armed conflict and the spread of Aids threaten the futures of millions of children.

Mother-of-three Sarandon urged every responsible adult to "become a mother to the children of the new millennium".

"This is just about an extended version of being a mother, if you can just see all the children of the world as your own, all the mothers of the world as you are, we can make a huge difference."

Unicef celebrities
Geri Halliwell
Roger Moore
Vanessa Redgrave
Imran Khan
Sir Peter Ustinov
Lord Attenborough
Sir Edmund Hillary
Harry Belafonte
She also spoke of the great disparities between privileged children and the majority of the world's young.

"When my children wake up in the morning they know they will eat breakfast, get hugs from their parents, go to a good, safe school. Plates are full and store windows are glittering.

"But at the same time the great majority of the world's children and women stand - no - shiver on the precipice," she said.

Sarandon, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, has already worked on a variety of charitable causes including hunger relief efforts and HIV/Aids causes.

Sarandon picks up her Best Actress Oscar in 1996
She now joins the ranks of celebrities such as Roger Moore, Geri Halliwell and Sir Peter Ustinov who volunteer their time and talents to draw attention to the UN's work.

British pop star Robbie Williams is another star recruit. He recently travelled to Sri Lanka with veteran rock star Ian Dury on a Unicef mission.

Sarandon's movie career includes Academy Award nominated roles in The Client, Lorenzo's Oil and Thelma and Louise.

She is currently starring in Wayne Wang's Anywhere But Here and husband Tim Robbins' Cradle Will Rock.
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See also:
20 Oct 98 |  Entertainment
Ginger Spice to become UN ambassador
18 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Robbie's millennium message of hope
19 May 99 |  Entertainment
Hollywood comes to Cannes - finally

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