UN chief enlists stars and VIPs to promote new UN goals

AP News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2016 3:31 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has enlisted stars including Shakira, Forest Whitaker and Lionel Messi along with global VIPs to campaign for achievement of the new United Nations development goals by 2030.

Ban said in a statement Tuesday that the 17 "advocates" will be promoting the 17 goals adopted by world leaders at a U.N. summit in September that are "a to-do list for people and planet."

The goals call for eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, improving living standards and taking urgent action to combat climate change. They follow the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders in 2000 which were to be achieved by the end of 2015 though almost all were not.

The group of advocates, co-chaired by Ghana's President John Mahama and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg, also includes Liberian Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs who heads the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Jack Ma, the China-based founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Other members are British filmmaker Richard Curtis who promoted the launch of the new goals, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel who heads the Foundation for Community Development, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, co-founder of the Qatar Foundation.

Ban said the advocates will engage with civil society, academia, parliaments and the private sector "to develop new and ground-breaking ideas and ways" to promote implementation of the new goals.