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.
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.
Artur Aleksanyan is the most decorated Olympian of independent Armenia, a Greco-Roman wrestler, and one of the most renowned Armenian athletes of the 21st century. He was appointed as a UNICEF Armenia Ambassador in November 2019
Armenian footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan plays for Italian club Roma. Previously he played for Arsenal and Manchester United. Appointed as a National Ambassador in November 2016, he has participated in UNICEF campaigns to support equal opportunities for every child.
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.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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’)
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.
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
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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
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.
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, 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.
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, 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.
Cedi is a Turkish professional basketball player currently for the Turkish National Team and Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In his role as a UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador, Cedi Osman will focus on youth engagement and sports.