Secretary-General designates Leonardo Dicaprio as UN Messenger of Peace

17 September 2014 | Press Releases

New York, 16 September 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated Academy Award-nominated actor and committed environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change.

un-logo“Mr. DiCaprio is a credible voice in the environmental movement, and has a considerable platform to amplify its message,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I am pleased he has chosen to add his voice to UN efforts to raise awareness of the urgency and benefits of acting now to combat climate change.”

The Secretary-General has invited Mr. DiCaprio to address the UN Climate Summit on 23 September, which is bringing together leaders from government, business, finance and civil society to promote climate action for a healthy planet, sustainable economic growth and better standards of living for all.

The Secretary-General praised DiCaprio’s longstanding commitment to fighting for environmental causes, not least the substantial funds raised and generous grants provided to environmental protection and conservation projects through his foundation.

“It’s an honor to accept the role of UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history – it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.”

In 1998, DiCaprio established the “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation,” with the mission of protecting the Earth’s last wild places and implementing solutions to build a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world. Since that time DiCaprio has worked on some of the most pressing environmental and humanitarian issues of our day. Through grant making, public campaigning and media projects, he has brought attention and needed funding to three focus areas — protecting biodiversity, ocean and forest conservation, and climate change.

Mr. DiCaprio will join 11 other United Nations Messengers of Peace and one Goodwill Ambassador who advocate on behalf of the United Nations on a variety of priority issues for the Organization.

Messengers of Peace are individuals who possess widely recognized talents in the fields of art, film, literature, music and sports, helping to raise worldwide awareness of the Organization’s ideals and activities. Through their public appearances, contacts with the international media and humanitarian work, they expand public understanding of how the United Nations helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Since 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has built longstanding relationships with environmental leaders and experts, staying continually engaged and active on the most pressing issues of our day – protecting biodiversity, oceans and forest conservation, and climate change.

The Foundation’s strategic approach to philanthropy relies upon key partnerships with effective environmental organizations and active collaboration with other funders that share the Foundation’s goals and can magnify its impact. Efforts are directed in two areas – providing grants to innovative, results-driven initiatives and media efforts that inspire the public to make a difference in the fight to protect our planet for future generations. For more information visit: The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is a component fund of the California Community Foundation.

Climate Summit 2014

The Climate Summit on 23rd September at UN Headquarters in New York will mark the first time in five years that world leaders will get together to chart a bold, new course of action on climate change. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked leaders to announce significant and substantial initiatives to help move the world toward a path that will limit global warming.

Announcements at the Summit will be aimed at mobilizing finance for climate action, increasing the use of renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, reducing deforestation, promoting climate smart agriculture, building resilience, reducing pollutants, and promoting climate action in the world’s cities. In addition to the leaders from governments, there will also be strong participation from leaders from business, finance and civil society.

Further information about the Messengers of Peace is available at: For further information, please contact Jeffrey Brez, tel. + 1 212 963 8070, e-mail:; or Carlos Islam, tel. + 1 212-963-2985, e-mail:

For media accreditation, please visit: or contact Isabelle Boyer, tel. + 1 212 963-6937, fax + 1 212 963-4642, e-mail:

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