Kidman Takes on U.N. Kosovo Envoy Role
Sunday, October 15, 2006; 2:50 PM
PRISTINA, Serbia -- Nicole Kidman is playing a role that has nothing to do with movies, touring Kosovo as a United Nations goodwill ambassador to the tense province.
"I'm here ... to learn so that I can help your country at this crucial, crucial time for the future," Kidman said after arriving Saturday, "to meet people, hear their stories and educate myself, and I suppose be a voice for you if you need it."
The actress was named goodwill ambassador of the U.N. Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM, in January and the tour of Kosovo is her first visit in that role.
Kidman's two-day visit comes at a sensitive time as ethnic Albanians and Serbs are negotiating the status of Kosovo. Ethnic Albanians want full independence for the province of 2 million, while Serbia insists Kosovo should remain under its sovereignty.
Kosovo formally remains part of Serbia but has been run by a U.N. mission since mid-1999, when NATO forced Serb forces to halt a crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.