The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will today name Swiss writer, academic, businessman and philanthropist Metin Arditi as its newest Goodwill Ambassador.
“Often described as a modern-day renaissance man, Metin Arditi combines talents in business, science and the arts with an unequivocal commitment to peace and development,” the Paris-based UNESCO said in a news release.
“The title of Goodwill Ambassador comes in recognition of his work with young Israeli and Palestinian musicians through his Instruments for Peace Foundation, and for his attachment to UNESCO’s ideals and values,” it added.
Mr. Arditi, who was born in Turkey in 1945 and moved to Switzerland at the age of seven, created the Foundation in 2009, along with Palestinian writer Elias Sanbar, to offer music education for young Israelis and Palestinians.
He also created the Arditi Foundation in 1988 to support talented students from Geneva and Lausanne, as well as the Foundation of the l’Orchestre de la Suisse romande in 1996 to help promising young musicians.
Mr. Arditi earned degrees in engineering, physics and business administration, and is an accomplished author and winner of several literary awards, including the Prix Lipp Suisse 2006 for his work ‘La Pension Marguerite,’ and the Prix des auditeurs de la Radio suisse romande for his work ‘L’Imprevisible.’
As a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, he joins a roster of distinguished personalities who use their name and fame to spread the ideals of the agency, such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela of South Africa, United States jazz musician Herbie Hancock and Cuban ballerina and choreographer Alicia Alonso.
“Through their careers and humanitarian commitment they have made an important contribution towards UNESCO’s work in education, culture, science, communication and information,” said the agency.
Mr. Arditi’s appointment will take place on a Tuesday evening in a nomination ceremony at the agency’s headquarters in Paris.