Jan. 23 - South African-born film star Charlize Theron delivers a personal plea for funding in the battle against HIV-AIDS on the opening evening of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Kathi Urban reports.
Not an Oscar, but South African actress Charlize Theron was just as excited and called it a 'great honour' to receive the "Crystal Award" on the first day of the World Economic Forum in Davos (Tuesday, January 22). The prize is handed to artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world. Theron, a U.N. Messenger of Peace and founder of her own Africa Outreach Project, is also supporting the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. She later appealed to delegates to keep focusing on HIV-prevention by ensuring adequate funding. SOUNDBITE: Charlize Theron, actress, saying (English): "And I know you're all standing here wondering what a movie star knows about all of this stuff - don't worry I can feel it - but I would like to remind you all that before I was a South African before I was a movie star. I grew up in the epicentre of this disease. I have seen how stigma, and fear, and lack of honesty can fuel HIV." Although she was undoubtedly the brightest star of the evening, the Hollywood actress isn't the only public figure in town. More than 1,500 business and political leaders, including Zimbabwe's PM Morgan Tsvangirai, are meeting in the Swiss resort this week to discuss global issues, including health.