VIENNA, 30 November 2011 – Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes has been appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) during the 14th Session of the UNIDO General Conference taking place in Vienna this week.
Pontes was the first professional Brazilian astronaut to go into space. Coming from poor living conditions in the suburbs of Sao Paulo, he reached his dreams through basic education and professional skills training, that enabled him to commence subsequent studies in aeronautical technology and engineering.
“With his unique life story, Marcos Pontes is giving an example of how basic education and professional skills can make a real difference,” said UNIDO-Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella. “His story is an inspiration for many people around the globe.”
Marcos Pontes expressed his appreciation for UNIDO to consider him as an advocate for the organization’s cause and accepted the appointment, saying: “Looking from space, earth is a unique and beautiful planet. We have 7 billion people trying to live with some quality on this wonderful blue home. But that will not be possible if we try it selfishly. We need to get together and prepare the new generation to be citizens of one world. UNIDO can help in this challenge, and I am honored to accept the nomination to cooperate as UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador, for a better future on earth”.
UNIDO's first Goodwill Ambassador Programme was inaugurated on 14 October 2004. Outstanding public figures, eminent businessmen and industrialists from various regions of the world were selected for this function, to collaborate in the implementation of UNIDO's activities. UNIDO’s Goodwill Ambassadors also have an advisory role and support the Organization’s activities in its three thematic priorities: poverty reduction through productive activities, trade capacity building, and energy and environment.
Watch a video about WorldSkills and Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes and see how basic education and professional skills can make a difference to children around the world:
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