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Narratives from the United Nations' Records: Marlon Brando, the inaugural advocate for water at the UN.
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Narratives from the United Nations’ Records: Marlon Brando, the inaugural advocate for water at the UN.

In 1956, the famous Hollywood figure provided a memorable narration for The Well of Happiness, which documented a United Nations initiative in a South American nation. This project was ahead of its time, preceding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s goal of providing access to clean water and sanitation for everyone.


Marlon Brando, known for his roles in On the Waterfront and Apocalypse Now, was among the increasing number of famous figures who aided the United Nations in bringing attention to global issues.

Listen to UN News’ Podcast Classics episode featuring Mr. Brando here, part of the UN News #ThrowbackThursday series showcasing pivotal moments across the UN’s past. From the infamous and nearly-forgotten to world leaders and global superstars, stay tuned for a taste of the UN Audiovisual Library’s 49,400 hours of video recordings and 18,000 hours of audio chronicling.

Check out our Podcast Classics series by clicking here and watch UN Video’s Stories from the UN Archive playlist here. Make sure to join us next Thursday for another exploration into the past.

Two small children wash their hands with soap at a hand-washing station at the Sayariy Warmi early childhood development centre in Sucre, Bolivia.

© UNICEF/Pirozzi

At the Sayariy Warmi center in Sucre, Bolivia, two young kids use soap to wash their hands at a hand-washing area for early childhood development.