“We need everyone on deck!” World’s ‘to do list’ is long and time is running out, says UN deputy chief at Global Citizen Festival |
“Let’s put it like it is: our world is in deep trouble. And we face crisis after crisis: people are suffering – and our planet is burning. Hunger is on the rise – and we are becoming more and more unequal. War is raging – and human rights are under attack,” the Deputy Secretary-General told the crowd gathered for the tenth year in New York’s iconic Central Park.
There is hope!
“But let me also tell you this: we are not hopeless… are we?” she asked and rallied festival attendees noting some of the transformative goals that can be achieved with united action: “A world of peace is not impossible. A world free from extreme hunger is not impossible. And widening inequalities is not impossible.
The Global Citizen Festival is an annual music event where fans take action to end extreme poverty to win free tickets. It brings together artists, activists, world leaders, philanthropists, business leaders, and more. This year’s gathering was held in two locations – New York and, for the first time, the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
The festival is timed to coincide with the annual high-level opening of the United Nations General Assembly to leverage opportunities to secure political and financial commitments from governments, businesses and philanthropic leaders to overcome poverty, demand equity and defend the planet.
“Will you be the change we expect?
On Saturday evening, Ms Mohammed told the cheering crowd that a truly peaceful world free of poverty and hunger “is the world we promised ourselves, through the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals”, referring to the action in 17 points. plan to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.
But she warned that time is running out – fast. “Just look at Pakistan and the tragedy of an extreme weather event. And there will be another one tomorrow,” and said: “We have a serious ‘to do list’ – those are the 17 global goals – and we need all of your hands on deck.”
Telling Global Citizens gathered in New York that they must hold world leaders to account, she called on them to demand fair climate action, gender equality and social justice now.
“Your voices matter. Your actions matter. Turn your frustrations into positive change,” Ms. Mohammed said, and added, “We bet on you. I bet on you. next: will you be the change we expect? will you be the change we expect?