“Come rain or shine, we’re here because we are committed to our planet”, said Amina Mohammed, addressing the Global Citizen Festival, against the backdrop of the UN General Assembly High Level Week, taking place down the road.
All to play for at halftime
She highlighted the race to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), end the climate crisis, and push for real gender equality.
“What happens today is a reflection of leaders meeting all week, promises made seven years ago, and today we’re recommitting to what the great Al Pacino said, tell it like it is: it’s halftime, and we’re down…but we’re not out!”
She asked the crowd assembled in the green heart of Manhattan if they felt like they were changing the world: “Well at the United Nations, we’re joining you, we are mobilizing people around the world.”
Global Citizen’s main mission is to end extreme poverty, through goals that align fully with the UN and the SDGs.
At the Festival, global leaders pledged $240 million for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), promised to protect a further 900,000 hectares of land in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, and secured promises from nine members of the US Congress, and the leader of the Labour Party in the UK, Kier Starmer, to follow through on national climate commitments.
Struggling to keep promises
The Deputy Secretary-General acknowledged that many around the world are hurting both in “mind and body”, with wars raging, and the planet not just warming – but boiling.
“Leaders are really struggling to use their power to keep the promises of the Global Goals and they risk breaking that promise to billions of people”, she said.
The good news is with seven years remaining to 2030, the game can still be won in the second half, but “we can’t win unless we stop our world from heating up.
Bridge the divide
“We need leaders to bridge the digital divide – because we can’t win if billions of people especially girls are left offline and left behind.”
She said if women and girls are left on the sidelines of the collective effort, that means half the team isn’t even on the field.
“So New Yorkers, it’s crunch time. But crunch time is when champions are made”, she said.
“Let’s unite and fight together – inch by inch – to keep the promise of achieving the Global Goals by 2030.”