George Clooney’s initial days as an official U.N. Messenger of Peace haven’t exactly been easy. Thankfully, this is one activist that’s up to the challenge.
Accompanied by his parents, Clooney arrived at the U.N. today to officially accept his honor and spell out what he hopes to achieve with the designation. From the press conference,
“We tend to not get to see enough of what we need to see anymore. It seems as if at times celebrity can bring that focus. It can’t make the policies, it can’t change people’s minds really, but you can bring a camera where you go because they’ll follow you and you can shine a light on it. That seems to be my job.”
Earlier, Clooney was blocked from delivering a message on his recent trip to Darfur in western Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo to a meeting of nations contributing peacekeeping troops. Apparently, there were several countries that protested his involvement, especially Russia, calling it ‘inappropriate’. The odd thing is, out of a majority of the politicians at that summit, it’s Clooney that’s seen first-hand the devastation in the Sudan. One door closed, he decided to hold a press conference; calling on the U.S. to ante up $1.2 billion he says is owed.
“These men and women risking their lives for peace are your responsibility. So either give them the basic tools for protecting the population and themselves or have the decency to bring them all home — because you can’t do it halfway.”
Clooney plans on using his new role to go anywhere he can bring attention. No doubt, the cameras will be a few steps behind.
Kick ass, George. Kick ass.