Written by Staff Writer
Jonathan Glancey, CNN
A senior United Nations official has dismissed concerns that Elon Musk’s charitable donation to the United Nations is an attempt to gain political favor.
The entrepreneur gave $10 million to the UN in March, through the SpaceX Foundation, to boost the program dubbed ‘Zero Waste’
Speaking to CNN at the Habitat III conference in Quito on Friday, Luis G. de Jesus, Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), praised the company’s work on sustainable development and “talent in technology,” before adding: “I think they would also be the perfect instrument to end world hunger.”
As a result of this contribution, which is earmarked for the US Department of Agriculture, Musk will be able to pursue a number of philanthropic projects alongside his role at SpaceX, including areas such as poultry farming and biofuels.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations involved in sustainable development and in combatting poverty.
Still, while de Jesus has dismissed the suspicion that his gift is a publicity stunt, the UN official was unable to quash the perception altogether.
“Maybe that is the perception of some people, but I think this is the way we can do philanthropy,” he said. “Maybe others prefer a major, transformational commitment. So that is maybe not for everyone.”
Asked if he believed Musk’s donation was “a public relations strategy,” de Jesus replied: “That is what people think, maybe it is what people want to hear about the important role philanthropy can play.”
This article was originally published by UNIDO and was translated into English.