UNICEF ambassadors in Europe and Central Asia

Our ambassadors are champions for children across Europe and Central Asia, focusing the attention of policymakers and the public on the rights of children.

Novak Djokovic squatting plays catch indoors with a boy in a black shirt and a little backpack
UNICEF/UNI196910/Shubuckl

Across Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF’s International Goodwill Ambassadors and National Ambassadors support our work to fulfil the rights of each and every child. 

Our Ambassadors have varied backgrounds and expertise, but they all have one thing in common: a proven commitment to improve the lives of children. They attract public attention, and channel that attention to the rights and needs of children in their own countries and beyond. They have access to those who make the decisions that affect children’s lives. And all of these champions for children support our efforts to fund-raise and advocate for girls and boys across the region. 

Please note: UNICEF National Committees and Country Offices worldwide have their own Ambassadors. For a full list, please see UNICEF’s Ambassadors page

International Goodwill Ambassador

Djokovic playing with a young boy in Serbia.

Novak Djokovic

World Tennis Champion, Novak Djokovic, was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador on 26 August, 2015, but he has worked with UNICEF since 2011, when he was appointed a National Ambassador for UNICEF Serbia.

His focus is on marginalized children, stressing the importance of early childhood education and development to give them the best start to life.  

 

National ambassadors

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Armenia

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh is a professional footballer who plays for English Premier League Club Arsenal, and captains the Armenian national team. He became an Ambassador for UNICEF Armenia in November 2016. He encourages Armenian families to be physically active and also focuses on early learning and inclusive education.

Vladimir Pougatch

Belarus

Vladimir Pougatch

Vladimir Pougatch, from the band J:MORS, became a UNICEF Ambassador in Belarus in November 2014. He spearheaded a 2012 UNICEF campaign to change attitudes towards children in conflict with the law, including the film ‘Angels Never Sleep’. Vladimir supports our work for adolescents.

Edin Džeko

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Edin Džeko 

Footballer Edin Džeko plays for Italian club Roma and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team. Appointed as a National Ambassador in 2009, Edin has participated in UNICEF campaigns to support early childhood development, as well as children with disabilities and those without parental care.

Vladimir Ampov (‘Grafa’)

Bulgaria

Vladimir Ampov (‘Grafa’)

Grafa (The Count) has been a UNICEF Ambassador in Bulgaria since September 2014. This well-known and respected singer, composer, producer and writer aims to focus the attention of the public on the challenges facing children and families, and involve them in the solutions.

Maja Vučić

Croatia

Maja Vučić

Singer Maja Vučić became a Special Representative for Parents and Babies and National Ambassador in November 2006. Maja promotes early childhood development and has supported UNICEF’s work in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Rwanda, as well as refugee and migrant children in Croatia. 

Bojana Gregorić Vejzović

Croatia

Bojana Gregorić Vejzović

This award-winning Croatian actress became a UNICEF National Ambassador in August 2004. Bojana’s support for children’s rights includes a special focus on children without parental care. As well as raising funds for UNICEF, she promotes the ideals that guide our work.  

Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni

Croatia

Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni

Zlatan became the first UNICEF Ambassador in Croatia in July 2003. The well-known singer works to end violence and discrimination against children, helps to raise funds for UNICEF, and reaches young people with UNICEF’s messages. 

Slaven Bilić

Croatia

Slaven Bilić

Slaven Bilić, Manager of West Ham United football club, became a National Ambassador in February 2008. He spearheaded Croatia’s ‘Break the Chain’ campaign against cyberbullying, and has focused on ending violence against children, as well as the promotion of child-friendly cities. 

Nikoloz Rachveli

Georgia

Nikoloz Rachveli

Nikoloz Rachveli, composer and conductor, became a National Ambassador in June 2017, focusing on children with disabilities and ending violence against children. He uses his concerts to advocate for child rights and participated in the ‘See Every Colour’ campaign to tackle discrimination.

Antonije Pušić ('Rambo Amadeus')

Montenegro

Antonije Pušić ('Rambo Amadeus')

Musician Antonije Pušić, known as Rambo Amadeus, became a National Ambassador in 2006. He has supported many national campaigns, including those on children with disabilities, ending violence against children and expanding foster care.

Andreea Marin

Romania

Andreea Marin

TV presenter, producer, journalist, author and editor Andreea Marin has been a voice for children in Romania as a National Ambassador since 2006. Andreea has championed children’s rights, including improving access to immunization and preventing family separation in numerous telethons, campaigns and other public events. 

Gheorghe Hagi

Romania

Gheorghe Hagi

World Cup All-Star Team football player Gheorghe Hagi became a National Ambassador in September 2008. He has been particularly active since his appointment on supporting UNICEF’s work to promote access to education for every child, including a successful campaign to prevent school dropout. 

Horia Tecau

Romania

Horia Tecau

Tennis champion Horia Tecau was appointed as a National Ambassador for UNICEF in Romania in April 2017. Horia, the first Romanian tennis player to win Olympic gold, has championed children’s access to health and quality education for many years.

Andrei Tiberiu Maria (Smiley)

Romania

Andrei Tiberiu Maria (Smiley)

TV presenter and pop star Smiley has been a National Ambassador since November 2013. His support for many social causes has included his involvement in UNICEF’s #endviolence campaign in Romania. Focusing on the most vulnerable children, he urges his fans to support children’s rights. 

Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic

Serbia

Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic

Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic became a National Ambassador for Serbia in 2005. As an international basketball star and head coach of the Serbian national team, Aleksandar supports UNICEF’s fundraising and programmes, particularly on the prevention of violence against children.

Ana Ivanovic

Serbia

Ana Ivanovic

Retired tennis champion Ana Ivanovic became a National Ambassador in 2007. She supports UNICEF’s fundraising and programmes, and promotes UNICEF’s values and ideals. She has been particularly active on the prevention of violence against children at school and online.

Gülsin Onay

Turkey

Gülsin Onay

The renowned pianist Gülsin Onay is the longest serving National Ambassador for UNICEF in Turkey, appointed in 2003. She is actively involved in UNICEF’s fundraising activities and advocates to protect the rights of all children. 

Yıldız Kenter

Turkey

Yıldız Kenter

A star of stage and screen in Turkey and beyond, Yıldız Kenter became a National Ambassador for UNICEF in 2007. She is actively involved in UNICEF’s fundraising activities and advocates for UNICEF’s core values and mandates.

Ayşe Kulin

Turkey

Ayşe Kulin

This well-known short-story writer, screenwriter and novelist became a National Ambassador for UNCEF in 2007. She promotes UNICEF's core values and takes an active role in fundraising activities.

Müjdat Gezen

Turkey

Müjdat Gezen

Müjdat, a stage actor, publisher, writer and founder of both a theatre company and television school, became a National Ambassador in 2007. He promotes UNICEF's core values and takes an active role in fundraising activities.

Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası

Turkey

Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası

This major symphony orchestra was appointed as a National Ambassador for UNICEF in 2009 in recognition of its efforts on behalf of children. The orchestra raised funds for victims of the İzmit earthquake in 1999 and the Pakistan earthquake in 2005, and has supported UNICEF’s campaign to improve girls’ access to education.

Türkan Şoray

Turkey

Türkan Şoray

This icon of Turkish cinematography holds the record for starring in more feature films than any other leading actress in Turkey. Türkan was appointed a National Ambassador in 2010. She is passionate about UNICEF's mandate and enjoys being involved in fundraising activities.

Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ

Turkey

Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ

Kıvanç, actor, model and former basketball player, became a National Ambassador in 2011. He has been involved in campaigns on child rights, on promoting positive attitude change towards children with disabilities and on the importance of education for children affected by emergencies.

Ferhat Göçer

Turkey

Ferhat Göçer

Musician and surgeon, Ferhat is well-know for combining classical and modern music. He became a National Ambassador in 2012 and is actively involved in UNICEF’s fundraising activities, as well as advocating for UNICEF’s core values and mandate.

Şefika Kutluer

Turkey

Şefika Kutluer

Şefika, classical flautist with the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, became a National Ambassador in 2012. Her international performances have included a concert at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations.

Tuba Büyüküstün

Turkey

Tuba Büyüküstün

Tuba, a well-known actress, became a National Ambassador in 2014. She focuses on child protection for the most vulnerable children, particularly the rights of refugee and migrant children.