Global citizens unite to sustain UN’s 2030 goals

Janet Jackson at Harlem Week 2018.
Ronnie Wright

Come rain or shine, on Sept. 29, a galaxy of stars will shine on the Great Lawn at Central Park during the annual Global Citizen Festival to ensure that 17 goals of bettering the world’s population are closer to meeting the 2030 deadline agreed by the United Nations.

Super-achiever and pop star Janet Jackson is expected to dazzle a planetary lineup of celebrity citizens which include The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and Janelle Monáe.

Along with singer John Legend, actor Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra Lee-Furness, the star-studded showcase is expected to engage more than 60,000 citizens with live performances while millions more tuning in around the globe will be updated about progress being made in ensuring throughout nations in the developing world.

The festival serves as a platform from which millions of people demand that the world’s leaders fulfill their obligation to achieve the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and end extreme poverty by 2030.

“This year, Global Citizens will be taking action toward ensuring people don’t suffer needlessly from preventable diseases; giving every child access to a quality education; getting US states to banish child marriage with new laws; making sure all people have access to enough nutritious food and clean drinking water; prioritizing menstrual hygiene; reducing the amount of single-use plastics that are used; eliminating bail bond programs that unfairly target the poor; and more.” Liveforlivemusic.com

First held Sept. 29, 2012, the Global Citizen Music Festival coincided with the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly attracting world leaders and ambassadors who agreed at that time to set 17 goals with a deadline of the year 2030 as the marker to solving some of the biggest problems plaguing developing nations.

“These goals have the power to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. Guided by the goals, it is now up to all of us, governments, businesses, civil society and the general public to work together to build a better future for everyone. No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean affordable energy, decent work and economic growth, climate action, peace, justice and strong institutions.”

Since 2015, the goals of the festival have been closely aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include 17 tasks to end extreme global poverty by 2030. Reportedly, to date, Global Citizen has gathered commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at almost $38 billion, affecting the lives of more than two billion people.

This year as world leaders gather for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly the SDGs will again be topical with fundraising events slated and added commitments from like-minded new and emerging nations.

Extreme poverty has been cut in half, millions of children’s lives have been saved and people are living longer and healthier lives than ever before.

Last year the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started Goalkeepers, an added initiative to meeting the SDGs. The billionaires said that “despite remarkable advances in the fight against poverty, inequality and disease, the job is not yet finished.”

“Progress is possible,” the couple said “but it is not inevitable and that’s why Goalkeepers was designed. It is a catalyst for action, bringing leaders from around the world to share what is working, what’s not and to forge new partnerships for action.”

At the inaugural event a diverse group of global leaders met for an inspiring day of assessing progress, relating stories and implementing actions.

Along with entertainers, advocacy groups, and armies of volunteers throughout the world offering service and input, talk-show host Trevor Noah, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and other world influencers committed to advancing the SDGs.

“We are investing all our resources in that fight. But that doesn’t mean every dollar spent on development has maximum impact. And that must be our goal,” the Gates’ said in a statement.

“If we don’t reaffirm the commitment that has led to so much progress over the past generation, that world will remain out of reach. Leaders everywhere need to take action now to put us on the path we set for ourselves just two years ago.

“The decisions we collectively make in the next couple of years are going to have a big impact on the shape these curves take. Of course, it’s not really about the shape of the curves. It’s about what the curves signify: whether or not millions or even billions of people will conquer disease, lift themselves out of extreme poverty, and reach their full potential.

Speakers included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winners Leymah Gbowee and Malala Yousafzai who all shared stories of bold leadership and innovative solutions that are driving progress on the Global Goals.

“We have to stand up for each other, recognize that progress is never inevitable, that it often can be fragile, it’s in need of constant renewal, and our individual progress and our collective progress depends on our willingness to roll up our sleeves and work,” the former US president said.

“This year as the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly opens, both the event and the report will focus on youth population growth that will affect future world progress. If countries invest in the health and education of their young people, we will unlock productivity and innovation, cut poverty and generate further prosperity. But if we ignore young people’s potential, we risk jeopardizing the progress that has been made. As world leaders gather for the UN General Assembly, we will host the second annual Goalkeepers event in New York City on Sept. 25 and 26,” a statement from the organizers said.

Hopefully, speakers from around the world will attend the two-day event, share their stories, ideas and challenges in an effort to advance the 17 SDGs that were agreed to by 193 world leaders Sept. 2015.

In addition to the Central Park concert, Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 will be held on Dec. 2 in Johannesburg, South Africa with a lineup that represents numerous nations and genres.

Already billed are: Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Cassper Nyovest, D’Banj, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Femi Kuti, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage, Usher, Wizkid.

The concert will celebrate the life’s work and lasting legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 will be held at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium for three days prior to the fifth anniversary of the passing of the human rights activist, leader and revolutionary on Dec. 13, 2013.

Model Naomi Campbell, Sir Bob Geldof, Gayle King, Tyler Perry and Forest Whitaker are the hosts.

Oprah Winfrey will deliver a keynote address for the event which serves as the culmination of Mandela’s 100th birthday.

Throughout Mandela’s centenary year, the Mandela 100 campaign launched numerous activist-driven events throughout the world with the ultimate goal of ending extreme poverty. Mandela 100 aims to raise $1 billion for initiatives working to end hunger, increase access to good nutrition for adolescent girls, reduce HIV/AIDS transmission rates, advocate for quality education, provide funding for women’s health, ensure access to clean water and safe sanitation worldwide and more. At least 50% of that sum will go towards efforts to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

Beyonce headlined the New York concert in 2015.

The following year Rihanna took the spotlight position.

Last year Stevie Wonder delivered a stellar showcase and in solidarity with footballer Colin Kaepernick took a knee for America.

The concert will begin at 2 p.m. and broadcast live on MSNBC.

It will also be streamed live on their MSNBC.com web portal until 10 p.m.

The festival will also be live-streamed on social media outlets YouTube and Twitter.

To get tickets, one must earn points on the Global Citizen website through interactive questionnaires, videos, and present projects, suggestions and acts of good deeds pertaining to the less fortunate.

Although with only days left to the event and little time to accumulate points, early responders who have secured amounts will be enabled admission tickets to the free ticketed concert.

Catch You On The Inside!

President Barack Obama, Melinda and Bill Gates.
www.Goalkeepers.org

More from Around NYC

>