PRISTINA, Serbia – Nicole Kidman began a tour of Kosovo on Saturday as a United Nations goodwill ambassador, pledging to provide a voice for the troubled province.
Kidman arrived in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, after attending the premiere of her movie "Fur" at the inaugural Rome Film Festival. She is to spend two days in Kosovo.
"I'm here ... to learn so that I can help your country at this crucial, crucial time for the future," Kidman said. "To meet people, hear their stories and educate myself, and I suppose be a voice for you if you need it."
Kidman shook hands with Kosovo's top U.N. official, Joachim Ruecker, dozens of local leaders and diplomats attending a welcome reception.
The actress was named goodwill ambassador of the U.N. Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM, in January 2006, and the tour of Kosovo is her first visit in that role.
Kidman was cheered by onlookers as she walked through the center of town to her hotel.
She is expected to travel on Sunday to the southwestern town of Djakovica, among the hardest hit areas during the 1998-1999 war. Some 1,000 men disappeared from the town in the conflict.
UNIFEM has run several projects in Kosovo assessing the impact of the conflict on women. It funded a recent analysis of the Agricultural Department's budget for Djakovica that concluded the spending did not reflect the needs of female farmers.
Kosovo, which formally remains part of Serbia, has been run by a U.N. mission since mid-1999 when NATO forced Serb forces to halt a crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.
Kidman visited the province at a sensitive time, with ethnic Albanians and Serbs negotiating the future status of Kosovo. Ethnic Albanians want full independence for the province of 2 million, while Serbia insists Kosovo should remain under its sovereignty.