Sir Roger, a popular British film, television and stage actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Simon Templar in The Saint and as secret agent James Bond, was introduced to UNICEF by the late Audrey Hepburn.
“My curiosity got the better of me after Audrey Hepburn introduced me to UNICEF,” he said. “I wanted to find out more than just the facts and figures.” He was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador on 9 August 1991.
UNICEF executive director, Anthony Lake in a tribute says Sir Roger’s first mission for UNICEF was to Central America, where he visited projects for children in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Over the years, his work with UNICEF also took him to Brazil, Ghana, Jamaica, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Slovenia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Philippines and Mexico.
He brought attention to the desperate conditions facing some of the world’s most vulnerable children and was a compelling voice on issues such as children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, landmine injuries, child labour and iodine deficiency.
In November 2012 Sir Roger was presented with the first-ever UNICEF UK Lifetime Achievement Award which then became the Roger Moore Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of his dedication to UNICEF, both as a generous fundraiser and a global advocate for children’s rights.
On receiving the award, Sir Roger said “I am perhaps best known for my role as Bond, but my role as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF is the one I am certainly most passionate about. It is beyond doubt that it’s the children and dedicated staff on the ground who deserve medals, but I am absolutely honored and would like to thank UNICEF for this truly humbling award.”
Sir Roger Moore was devoted to serving the world’s children for over 25 years and remained dedicated to UNICEF right up until his death.