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UEL honorary graduate Ashok Amritraj appointed UN in India Goodwill Ambassador

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Tennis player turned Hollywood producer to work promoting UN Sustainable Development Goals  

Ashok Amritraj, who was made an honorary doctorate by the University of East London in 2015 for his services to the film industry, has been appointed the United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Indian-born Mr Amritraj, a distinguished Hollywood film producer and chairman and CEO of the Hyde Park Entertainment Group, becomes the first Ambassador for the UN in India. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from UEL at the 2015 graduation ceremony for students from UEL’s School of Arts and Digital Industries. 

Mr Amritraj, who began his career as a professional tennis player, has made more than 100 films during his 30-year career, garnering global acclaim as well as worldwide revenues in excess of $2 billion. He has been a pioneering force in bridging India and Hollywood through film and media.

Accepting the UN honour, Mr Amritraj said, “I look forward to working with the United Nations in India to amplify awareness about the SDGs. It is a tremendous opportunity that brings together my personal desire to serve the country of my birth, and my passion to leverage the power of the media for the creation of diverse, socially relevant content”.

Welcoming Mr. Amritraj to the UN family, Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator said, “We look forward to working with Mr Amritraj as a powerful advocate for the SDGs, and to his support in showcasing innovations and cutting-edge solutions to development challenges that are being generated in India.”

In September 2015, at the UN General Assembly, 193 countries adopted arguably the most ambitious global agenda of the current era, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - a plan of action for people, planet, prosperity and peace. India played an important role in shaping the global agenda and is critical to its success.

UN Goodwill Ambassadors aim to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and to foster engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these goals.