UN Secretary General: Climate change, poverty, inequality need action, ambition & political will

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has observed that “We have the tools to answer the questions posed by climate change, environmental pressure, poverty, and inequality. But tools are no use if you don’t use them. We need action, ambition and political will. More action, more ambition, and more political will.”

The Secretary-General has appointed 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) advocates to raise awareness, to inspire ambition and to push for faster action on SDGs-peace, prosperity, people, planet and partnerships. The principles at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are also what drive the new class of SDG Advocates and these 17 influential public figures are committed to raising awareness, inspiring greater ambition and pushing for faster action on the SDGs.  The United Nations Member States agreed to accomplish the SDGs by 2030. To build the momentum for transformative, inclusive development by 2030, the Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates will use their unique platforms and leadership to inspire cross-cutting mobilization of the global community.

The Secretary General’s SDG Advocates are Co-chairs Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Republic of Ghana,  Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Kingdom of Norway. The members are Queen Mathilde of the Kingdom of Belgium, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano (Federal Republic of Nigeria), Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder, Education Above All Foundation (State of Qatar),  Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Activist, Environment and Indigenous Rights (Republic of Chad),  Jack Ma, Founder, and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group (People’s Republic of China).

Other members are Ms.  Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust (Republic of Mozambique), Ms. Dia Mirza, Actress and Film Producer, UN Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador for India, Dr. Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women (Canada), Ms. Nadia Murad, Nobel Laureate, Chair and President, Nadia’s initiative, UN Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador (Republic of Iraq),  Edward Ndopu, Founder, Global Strategies on Inclusive Education (Republic of South Africa),  Paul Polman, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair of the Board of United Nations Global Compact (Kingdom of the Netherlands),  Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University (United States of America), Ms. Marta Vieira da Silva, Footballer, Orlando Pride, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador (Federative Republic of Brazil),  Forest Whitaker, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation (United States of America).

The SDG Advocate Alumni are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (Kingdom of Sweden), Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson, United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation (Republic of Korea), Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Laureate, Founder, Gbowee Peace Foundation (Republic of Liberia), Ms. Shakira Mebarak, Founder, Pies Descalzos Foundation (Republic of Colombia),  Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, Founder, Leo Messi Foundation (Argentine Republic) and  Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Founder, Grameen Bank (People’s Republic of Bangladesh).