Ben Stiller Named UN Goodwill Ambassador, Focuses on South American Violence
Funnyman Ben Stiller is getting serious with his new role as UN Goodwill Ambassador.
The comedic actor was named a Goodwill Ambassador by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who announced the news on Monday.
In a lighthearted Tweet, Stiller responded to his newly appointed role: “I’m not exactly sure what my credentials are as a Goodwill Ambassador, or who approved it, but somehow I got through.”
Stiller had just concluded a trip with UNHCR to Guatemala, where he met some of the men, women and children from the North of Central America who have been forced to flee their homes because of violence.
Statistics show that 43 of the 50 most homicidal cities on the planet are located in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Organized violence is a major factor as local gangs operate with a large degree of autonomy, using violence to control core territory, impose their will on local inhabitants and carry out extortion.
In recent years, a growing number of people across El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have fled this unchecked violence that includes murder, rape, abduction and even the forcible recruitment of children into gangs.
Stiller spent time in Guatemala meeting refugees including unaccompanied children and seeing how UNHCR, with the government and its partners, is working to support and protect them.
“Here in Guatemala, the families, including children, that I met experienced fear and violence back home that is beyond imagination. They are vulnerable and have suffered immensely. They need help,” Stiller commented. “UNHCR is an organization that is working tirelessly all over the world helping men, women and children fleeing war, terror and persecution.”
UNHCR works with governments and partners on the ground in locations all over the world to support and protect refugees and help them build better futures.
The organization continues to call on governments to strengthen global responsibility sharing and solidarity aimed at ensuring safety for families fleeing life-threatening violence and persecution.
Ben Stiller has been supporting UNHCR since early 2016, meeting with refugees in Germany and Jordan. Best known for his role in films like “Dodgeball,” “Zoolander” and “Meet the Parents,” Stiller has played a key role in UNHCR projects including the #withrefugees campaign.