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Action star Jet Li was appointed as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization (WHO) – the United Nations’ public health arm – on Friday, and is expected to launch World Health Day in Beijing on Tuesday.

“I would like to thank WHO for this great honor and opportunity,” he said. “Health is essential to the well-being of humanity, and I am very happy that WHO trusts me to take on this important responsibility. If we do not take care of our bodies, we will not be able to do many things. This is our common belief, and I will do my very best to spread this shared belief to the world.”

The action star will use his position as ambassador to raise awareness of issues such as public health responses to emergencies, as well as mental health. Both causes are close to the star’s heart, and he founded the One Foundation after narrowly escaping the December 26, 2004 tsunami with his family. He has also been a Red Cross ambassador since 2006.

“I am very pleased to appoint Jet Li as a Goodwill Ambassador for WHO,” said WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “Jet Li’s commitment to promoting community involvement and young people’s participation in social and health issues will be a great asset to WHO’s work. He has been personally involved in providing emergency response following natural disasters and has promoted mental health amongst youth. We are grateful that he is willing to use his energy and fame to promote health and well-being.”

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