Pavarotti and Friends: Giorgio Armani to become UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Briefing Notes, 28 May 2002

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Delphine Marie to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 28 May 2002, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

This evening, in Modena, Italy, the High Commissioner will appoint the fashion designer Giorgio Armani as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. The appointment will be made at the "Pavarotti and Friends" concert.

For the second year in succession, the celebrated Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti has made refugees the central focus of this annual event, which is also starring, among others, Sting, Lou Reed, Andrea Bocelli, James Brown and Grace Jones. The proceeds from the concert are going to UNHCR's programmes for Angolan refugees in Zambia. As of Sunday, more than Euros 1 million had been raised in ticket sales, and last we heard there are still a few thousand tickets available. The concert is being broadcast live by the Italian TV station RAI Uno, and is expected to be broadcast at a later date by other TV stations around the world. All proceeds from the sale of the TV rights will also go to UNHCR's Zambia programme.

The concert is going ahead despite the tragic death of Luciano Pavarotti's father last Thursday night. Thanks to a number of private and corporate donors who have come forward since then, money has already been raised to buy a new ferry that is vital for refugees and local inhabitants living in and around one of the four main refugee camps in Zambia to cross the Zambezi River. The ferry will be named the "Fernando Pavarotti," in memory of Luciano Pavarotti's father.