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Lionel Messi and other celebrities back Our world. Your move. campaign

29-10-2009 News Release 09/214

Geneva – Argentine footballer Lionel Messi is lending his support to the Our world. Your move. campaign – an initiative by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to raise awareness of today's humanitarian challenges and highlight the power of individuals to make a big difference.

  ©FC Barcelona    
  Lionel Messi    

" In life, as in sport, we're able to do more and achieve more when we work as a team, " said Lionel Messi, who plays for FC Barcelona in Spain.

" By cooperating with those around us, we can not only achieve small goals, but also meet great challenges. It's not an impossible dream … it doesn't take much to make the world a better place, " he added on the campaign website:  

Lionel Messi is considered one of the best football players of his generation and is admired by millions. The organizers of the campaign – the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – are hopeful that Lionel Messi's involvement will encourage his fans to take an interest in helping others.

The Argentine footballer is one of more than a dozen celebrities who have backed Our world. Your move. in recent months. International musicians such as Mohamed Mounir, Christian Benda, Naseer Shamma and Barbara Hendricks have all endorsed the campaign, as has James Bond director Marc Forster. Videos by Indian film director Mahesh Bhatt and Bollywood star Nandita Das, as well as a statement by tennis star and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, can be found on the campaign site.

Lebanese-Swiss editorial cartoonist Patrick Chappatte, whose work is familiar to readers of the International Herald Tribune and other n ewspapers, showed his support for the campaign by drawing a series of cartoons highlighting the threat of cluster munitions in Lebanon and another series on life in Georgia a year after that country's armed conflict with Russia.

Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard is one of the celebrities who has recently signed up for the cause. Malian Afro-pop artist Salif Keita will take part in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent's first-ever Movement-wide meeting in Africa, set to take place in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in November. Popular African singer, songwriter and activist Angelique Kidjo will address the same gathering via video.

" We all know that the world is far from perfect, but there is hope, " said Angelique Kidjo. " In particular, I am struck by how young people can bring about change. "

Launched on 8 May – World Red Cross Red Crescent Day 2009 – the campaign has so far generated more than 460 events in over 130 countries across the globe, from Armenia to Zimbabwe, including first-aid demonstrations, exhibitions, concerts and youth gatherings. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people have " made a move " on the campaign's site.

The Our world. Your move. campaign marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino, which led to the creation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, as well as the 90th anniversary of the IFRC and the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, all of which were celebrated in 2009.

Campaign web portal (in eight languages)   Photo gallery of celebrities who support Our world. Your move.  

For more information, please contact:

A nna Nelson at the ICRC: +41 79 217 3264

or ICRC Geneva press secretariat tel: ++41 22 730 34 43

Zach Abraham at the IFRC: +41 79 308 9804