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29 October 2013, 09:31
Pianist Lang Lang has been awarded the role of UN Messenger of Peace by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in a special ceremony that took place yesterday.
The role was bestowed upon the pianist with a special focus on education, thanks to Lang's constant work in music education in his native China. He is the first person from China to ever receive the honour.
The pianist celebrated his new appointment on Twitter before the ceremony itself:
His new role will centre around the UN's Global Education First Initiative. Lang Lang commented: "Our youth are the leaders of tomorrow. We must give them the necessary tools to reach their goals in life and make their dreams come true."
He added: "It's given me tremendous pleasure to stand up here today… I hope I can take the challenge and find a more meaningful place to work with people and to work with myself as well."
The award comes weeks after Lang Lang was given the International Artist of the Year award at the Classic BRITs. Previous recipients of the UN Messenger of Peace honour include Michael Douglas, George Clooney, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Stevie Wonder and Luciano Pavarotti.