Indian PM Narendra Modi takes the Poverty Eradication Pledge

Indian PM Narendra Modi takes the Poverty Eradication Pledge

Global Citizen Festival kick-starts Global Goals campaign to reach 7 billion people in 7 days following the agreement of the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Global Citizen Festival kick-starts Global Goals campaign to reach 7 billion people in 7 days following the agreement of the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Renowned Indian personalities Arjun Kapoor, Freida Pinto, Kajol, and Sunidhi Chauhan captivated a 60,000 strong crowd and global audience of millions at the annual 2015 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park New York.

In the spirit of celebrating India’s leadership position in the fight against poverty, they took to the stage to shine a spotlight on India’s progress in recent decades in eradicating poverty as well as to highlight the challenges that remain, such as regarding India’s sanitation issue. This was delivered as part of a special India-themed moment that was curated at this year’s 2015 Global Citizen Festival.

Freida and Arjun launched the India Moment at the Global Citizen Festival. Freida, an ongoing ambassador for the Global Citizen Festival said: “There is much for India to celebrate. For example, since 2000, India has more than halved its incidence of extreme poverty. There is still work to be done, particularly in the area of sanitation.

We are honored to be here with you all to witness firsthand what can be achieved when a community of passionate and dedicated individuals come together as Global Citizens.”

Youth icon Arjun Kapoor attended the event in his role of India Ambassador for the Global Citizen Festival and International Champion for the Global Goals campaign. With India being the world’s youngest country and with more than half of its population being under the age of 25, the youth has been a driving force behind many social movements in recent years, with the ability to create positive change. Following his advocacy and focused effort as the ambassador of WWF India, Arjun’s impact with youth and his popularity made him a natural choice for the Global Citizen Festival and Global Goals campaign. He called on India and its youth to “play a central role in the global movement to end extreme poverty and create a more sustainable environment.”

He said: “India is a young country - more than half of our population is under the age of 25. The Global Goals serve as a clarion call for India’s youth and I know we share the desire of the youth of India to see universal sanitation by 2019, and an end to extreme poverty, in India by 2030.”

Arjun and Freida also told global audiences how “they would love to see Global Citizen bring this festival to India - please come!”.

Kajol attended the event in her role as Hygiene Ambassador for Hindustan Unilever Limited where she campaigns for reductions in under-five child mortality rates (U5MR) in developing countries such as India.

Sunidhi Chauhan set the Bollywood tempo performing to a medley of chart busters, including Sajane Ve to Sheila Ki Jiwani.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent Global Citizens a poignant recorded message that pledged his government’s commitment to eradicating poverty from India.

He applauded Global Citizens for coming together and taking up such a worthy cause and highlighted that poverty was “our collective challenge".

Addressing the youth of the world, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “My young friends, a very good evening. I applaud you all who have come together for taking up such a worthy cause. Indeed there is a need to liberate the world from the curse of poverty. It is our collective challenge; we cannot and must not let such injustice continue. It should be our aspiration that no human being remains impoverished. Nations made every human being equal. We created the injustice and indignity of poverty. Alleviation only will not suffice. We must eliminate poverty.

My government is committed to eliminate poverty. To me it means creating a condition where every individual is able to realize his or her full potential. Time has come for nations and governments to show resolve in tackling this challenge. I believe that our government is for the people and committed dignity and freedom from poverty for all. This is my mission and this is your mission. Let us work together. This will make our world a better place to live.”

The 2015 Global Citizen Festival organise a free, action-rewarded, and advocacy-driven music festival with a live audience of 60,000 people, where fans engage with social and economic development issues in order to win tickets. Hosted by Stephen Colbert, Hugh Jackman, Salma Hayek Pinault, Deborra-lee Furness, Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde, the high profile Indian names joined an esteemed line-up of talent, which included performances by Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and also by Sunidhi Chauhan. The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, President of the World Bank Jim Kim, and various Heads of Government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, were guests of honor at last year’s event.

Other guests that attended this year’s event included UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon; Bill and Melinda Gates; World Bank Group President Dr Jim Yong Kim; United States Vice President Joe Biden; United States First Lady Michelle Obama; Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg; Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven; Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel; and the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat.

The Global Citizen Festival kick started the Global Goals campaign, which aims to reach 7 billion people in 7 days with news of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (26th September – 2 October 2015). Conceived by renowned filmmaker and founder of Comic Relief Richard Curtis for the United Nations, the Global Goals campaign is supported by a variety of existing campaigns, including Project Everyone, action/2015 and Global Citizen. This unprecedented effort – which exists to both make the goals famous and push for their full implementation – started on 25 September at the UN when 193 world leaders adopted The Global Goals, a series of 17 ambitious targets to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030.

In India, the Global Goals campaign is being supported by various NGOs, media houses, organisations and corporates including Reliance Group, the first Global Goals Campaign Partner from India, Tata Group, eBay India, Confederation of Indian Industry, Hello! India Magazine, Hero MTB Himalaya 2015, Yash Raj Films, Magic Bus and Akshaya Patra.

Speaking about Arjun's role as International Champion for the Global Goals campaign, Natasha Mudhar, India Director of the Global Goals Campaign said: “Arjun has phenomenal reach, impact and popularity especially with the youth making him a natural choice to be an international champion for the Global Goals campaign in India.

It is Sterling Media's mandate to help promote the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development to India’s 1.2bn population and with India having the world’s youngest nation, raising awareness of the new Global Goals amongst today's youth is critical to eradicating global poverty, removing inequalities and tackling climate change by 2030.

The youth are indeed change makers and by empowering them with the support of ambassadors such as Arjun, we can inspire them to truly be the change we all wish to see.”

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