United Nations, Sep 22: Conductor Daniel Barenboim, Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, Japanese-American violinist Midori Goto and Olympic equestrian Princess Haya of Jordan were named UN messengers of peace. They join actor Michael Douglas, conservationist Jane Goodall, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and author Elie Wiesel as special messengers of peace for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Ban, in making the announcement, also dropped several celebrities from the contingent appointed by his predecessor, Kofi Annan, without offering a reason.
They include American boxing champion Muhammad Ali and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, Indian tennis ace Vijay Amritraj, Algerian-born French singer Enrico Macias and Italian author and humanitarian Anna Cataldi, who was just appointed a goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization.
UN agencies, beginning with UNI