Irish heart-throb Ronan Keating has become a goodwill ambassador in a bid to beat world hunger.

The former Boyzone frontman, who is a keen human rights campaigner, has been appointed to promote the United Nations' Food And Agriculture Organisation (FAO) - and he is the first Irishman to step into the role.

Irish Minister Of State For Agriculture BRENDAN SMITH says, "It is a testament to the role that Ireland and its citizens have played towards combating world hunger, poverty and under-development in agriculture and rural development."

Keating joins fellow celebrity FAO ambassadors Dionne Warwick and Italian soccer star ROBERTO BAGGIO.