Actor Antonio Banderas has been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Programme.
The Mask of Zorro star will focus his attention on the Millennium Development Goals, a set of targets aimed at halving world poverty by 2015.
“Poverty robs us of our potential as a people, preventing us from being all that we can be.”
“This is why it is so important to mobilise all of our efforts to defeat it,” said Banderas, 49, in a statement.
“Today we have the knowledge, the tools and the resources to do it,” he continued.
Helen Clark, of the UN Development Programme, said the actor’s “proven commitment to the causes of the less fortunate makes him an ideal advocate for our work”.
Spanish-born Banderas is best known for his work in the early Pedro Almodovar films, and his subsequent Hollywood roles in the Spy Kids series and Shrek franchise, voicing Puss in Boots.
An animated Puss in Boots prequel is due to be filmed later this year; the actor is also lined up to play the artist Salvador Dali.
He is currently writing, directing and producing a film about Boabdil, the last Muslim ruler of Granada, Spain.