Oscar-winning actor George Clooney has officially been appointed a United Nations peace envoy in New York.
The film star, who will promote the UN's peacekeeping missions around the world, arrived in the city from a trip to the Darfur region of Sudan.Mr Clooney told the BBC he hoped to be able to help the people he met there who had suffered in the conflict.
Among the eight other peace messengers are actor Michael Douglas and Israeli classical musician Daniel Barenboim.
Clooney, who is Oscar-nominated for his performance in thriller Michael Clayton, briefly posed for photographs as he entered New York's UN headquarters.The 46-year-old was accompanied by his parents at the ceremony with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Clooney has been waging his own campaign to end the conflict in Darfur, and was selected for his ability to focus public attention on international issues.The actor is a co-founder of Not On Our Watch, a humanitarian group that focuses global attention on Darfur's people and has raised more than $9.3 million (£4.67 million) for the region.
"You hope that somehow... if you just shine a really bright light on these things it's harder to get away with it," Clooney told the BBC.Mr Clooney appealed for the world's governments to send the new African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur the helicopters and radios it needs to do its job.
The people of Darfur, he said, were putting their faith in the blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers and it was up to the world not to let them down.The actor acknowledged he'd been quietly backing the Democratic Senator, Barack Obama, in the US presidential race, and said a change of US administration would affect the way America's seen worldwide.
Musing on the difference between screen action and his new UN role, Clooney said: "An Oscar's a nice thing to have in your life, but this isn't just sort of an honour, it's a responsibility."