Charlize Theron named UN Ambassador of Peace

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has been made a messenger of peace by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, with a special focus on ending violence against women.

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has been made a messenger of peace by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The South African-born actress, who won an Academy Award for her role as real-life serial killer Eileen Wuornos in the 2003 film Monster, will have a special focus on ending violence against women.

Theron, who is now an American citizen, is also the founder of a project aimed at promoting HIV/AIDS education for children and their families in her former homeland.

"You have used your voice, compassion and special relationship with the public to create a better world," said the secretary general in his announcement on Friday.

The 33-year-old performer will be officially appointed on Monday in a ceremony in New York City.

Her new role is apropos considering Theron's background. At 15, she witnessed the death of her father when her mother Gerda shot him in self-defence when he attacked her.

Theron's previous films included 2005's North Country — in which she played a woman who tackles sexual harassment — The Devil's Advocate, The Cider House Rules, Hancock and In The Valley of Elah.

She becomes the UN's 10th peace envoy, joining fellow actors George Clooney and Michael Douglas, British naturalist Jane Goodall and Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.