“Take your passion and compassion – and let’s make the global goals a global reality,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged a massive crowd at New York’s Central Park last night, where he joined a star-studded roster of the world's leading performers to kick-off the fourth annual Global Citizen Festival.
This years’ celebration of global unity and a reaffirmation of the will to address the planet's most pressing issues comes as world leaders have adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit the new 2030 Agenda, composed of 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate over the next 15 years.
"The Global Goals for sustainable development are a promise from your leaders. Hold them to it. Demand that they deliver,” the Secretary-General said in his remarks to the Global Citizen’s Concert, which included performances by international pop star Beyoncé and featured major presentations by Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and United States First Lady Michelle Obama.
Mr. Ban went on to tell the attendees: “Share what you have learned today. The United Nations needs you […] you will be the first generation that ends global poverty. You must be the generation to tackle climate change before it is too late.”
Already in its fourth year, the Global Citizen Festival was initiated by the Global Poverty Project which is campaigning to secure new commitments to health, education, women's equality and global partnerships. The enthusiastic audience had received free tickets to the concert online after helping to spread the word or by volunteering to help end poverty.
“Don’t stand by. Don’t stand back. Stand up. Stand up for justice. Stand up for dignity. Stand up for a better world,” concluded the UN chief, urging the attendees to take their passion and compassion and make the Global Goals a global reality.