Page last updated at 00:23 GMT, Saturday, 15 November 2008

Actress to become UN peace envoy

Actress Charlize Theron (October 2008)
The actress founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project

Actress Charlize Theron has been made a messenger of peace by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The South African-born actress, who won an Oscar for her role in the 2003 film Monster, will have a special focus on ending violence against women.

Theron, who is now a US citizen, is the founder of a project aimed at promoting HIV/Aids education for children and their families in South Africa.

The 33-year-old will be formally inducted in New York on Monday.

Mr Ban said of the actress: "You have used your voice, compassion and special relationship with the public to create a better world."

Theron, 33, won an Oscar for her portrayal of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who came from a background of violence and abuse, and was executed in Florida in 2002.

In the 2005 film North Country, she played a woman who tackles sexual harassment.

Theron has also appeared in The Cider House Rules, and thrillers such as The Italian Job and the special-effects filled AEon Flux.

She becomes the UN's 10th peace envoy, joining the likes of US actors George Clooney and Michael Douglas, British naturalist Jane Goodall, and Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.

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