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The Global Goals
The UN Global Goals campaign videocourtesy of the UN

Saoirse Ronan, Tarana Burke, and more call for action on world issues

Activists and cultural figures have signed an open letter demanding world leaders tackle climate change, violence against women, and poverty in line with the UN Global Goals

Actress Saoirse Ronan and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke are among a host of activists and public figures who have signed an open letter calling on world leaders to take action against a variety of urgent issues, from the climate crisis to global poverty. 

The letter, written as part of The Global Goals campaign, states: “This is an emergency. We are activists from different causes across the world, writing as one for the first time to demand your immediate action in this critical year.”

It goes on to explain that despite 193 countries committing to the Global Goals at the United Nations five years ago, they are failing to meet their targets: “Look at our world now. Our climate is heating up. Natural disasters are increasing. Children suffer without vital food or healthcare. Girls and women are refused an education and subjected to discrimination and violence.”

The call to arms ends on a more positive note however, stating that 2020 brings “hope” that leaders will act “decisively and courageously” to kickstart a “Decade of Action”.

In a statement, Burke said: “The Global Goals are a solutions-focused plan that the world needs. They are as much about what is happening in the USA as in Uganda. They build on a vision of a world in which women and girls can live free from violence, harassment and discrimination, but we all know that is a long way off.” 

Burke added: “That’s why we must use these Goals as a tool to hold our leaders to account and to boost all our efforts. I’m proud to stand with climate campaigners, human rights defenders, education activists today to send a clear message to leaders that these Goals are all our Goals. We are ready –  and we are watching – for action.”

Other signatories and backers include Malala Yousafzai, Richard Curtis, Riz Ahmed, Dr Jane Goodall, Emma Watson, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, and J.J. Abrams. 

“Governments across the world are simply not acting quickly enough or with enough intention to meet the 2030 deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals. We need our leaders to find innovative financial solutions and show us how they will commit to this next decade of action. I am proud to join with 19 other climate campaigners, gender activists, human rights defenders and anti-poverty advocates in signing this letter. These Goals are all our Goals and can only be achieved together,” Obiageli Ezekwesili, the co-founder of Bring Back Our Girls, said.

You can read the full list of signatories and supporters on The Global Goals website and watch their campaign video below: