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Chan named goodwill ambassador for UNICEF

Action star to call attention to fight vs. AIDS around globe
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jackie Chan, who’s best known for his daredevil stunts, was named a goodwill ambassador Monday for the United Nations’ Children’s Fund and U.N. AIDS agencies.

The Hong Kong action film star will help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and discrimination against people affected by it, and advance the causes of children, particularly those who suffer through armed conflict, said Rodney Hatfield, UNICEF’s representative in Cambodia.

“Let me know whatever I can do, wherever I can go. I promise you I’ll do it,” Chan said at a news conference, where he wore a turquoise T-shirt bearing the word UNICEF.

Chan, a box-office star of Hollywood and Chinese-language movies for more than 20 years, will visit children suffering from AIDS and tour land mine rehabilitation centers during his three-day stay in Cambodia, which ends Wednesday.

“We are confident that Jackie’s prestige, great talent and genuine concern for children will help the United Nations send a powerful message on the impact of HIV/AIDS and conflict on children that will reach the hearts and minds of people throughout the world,” Hatfield said.

Cambodia has Southeast Asia’s highest HIV infection rate, although it dropped to 2.6 percent in 2002 from 3.8 percent in 1997.

Chan, whose movies include “The Legend of Drunken Master,” “Shanghai Noon” and the sequel “Shanghai Knights,” will likely begin shooting the third film in the “Rush Hour” series later this year.

“I always think I am so lucky,” he said. “So, now it’s time to give back.”

Other UNICEF goodwill ambassadors include actors Roger Moore and Jessica Lange and singers Harry Belafonte and Ricky Martin.