The United Nations today announced that Princess Infanta Doña Cristina of Spain will serve as Goodwill Ambassador for the UN's Second World Assembly on Ageing, to be held in Madrid, from the 8 to 12 April 2002.
As Goodwill Ambassador Princess Infanta Cristina will join Marcel Marceau, the internationally renowned artist often referred to as the world's greatest mime. Mr. Marceau, who has himself contributed extensively to promoting the World Assembly, welcomed the Princess's support.
As Goodwill Ambassador, the Princess will raise awareness about the World Assembly and its goals of developing an effective international strategy to address the dramatic impact of global population ageing. "I am committed to this role, not only because of Spain's involvement as the host country, but because I believe in the importance of seizing this opportunity to respond to a changing world," she said.
An honourable president of the Spanish Commission for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Princess has worked on educational projects and the protection of the natural and artistic heritage. She has also lent her support to various charitable organizations, and is currently the President of the International Foundation of Care for the Disabled.
According to the UN, the number of older people will increase from about 600 million to almost 2 billion in the next 50 years. In some developed countries birth rates have already fallen below replacement levels.