NEW YORK – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed a group of eminent persons to assist in the campaign to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the world leaders unanimously adopted in September 2015.
They include a queen, a crown princess, a president, a prime minister, a Chinese e-commerce pioneer, and a player often ranked as the world’s best footballer.
With a mandate to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030, the newly named SDG Advocates will add powerful voices to spur action on the visionary and transformational sustainable development agenda. The 17 SDGs aim to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while leaving no one behind.
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people,” said Ban while making the announcement on January 19. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success,” he said.
The SDG Advocates will have the task of promoting the universal sustainable development agenda, raising awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and fostering the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of the SDGs.
The diverse group of Advocates will engage with partners from civil society, academia, parliaments, and the private sector to develop new and ground-breaking ideas and ways to promote SDG implementation. The group includes Heads of State and Government, business and political leaders and prominent academia, as well as artists who have shown outstanding leadership in their field.
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will co-chair the group of SDG Advocates. The other Advocates include: Queen Mathilde of Belgium; Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Co-Founder Qatar Foundation; Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director; Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson, United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation; and Leymah Gbowee, Director, Gbowee Peace Foundation.
Other Advocates are: Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group; Graça Machel, President, Foundation for Community Development; Leo Messi, World Renowned Footballer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador; Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever; and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Colombia University.
Other Advocates are: Shakira Mebarak, Artist, Advocate and Founder, Pies Descalzos Foundation, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador; and Forest Whitaker, Founder and CEO, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation; and Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank. [International Press Syndicate – 19 January 2016]