UN invites ‘Citizen Ambassadors’ to film anti-poverty goals in action

23 June 2010 – The United Nations launched today a video contest inviting people from around the world, particularly youth, to tell leaders what the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) mean to them by uploading short films on the UN YouTube channel.

“Use your voice as a global citizen to tell world leaders in a short video what you think needs to be done to make this world a better and safer place,” the contest website reads, featuring messages from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassadors Angelique Kidjo and Youssou N’Dour.

Additional videos featuring UN Messengers of Peace Stevie Wonder and Princess Haya of Jordan, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Lionel Messi and Jackie Chan, and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador Maria Sharapova, will be posted throughout the contest.

Starting today and until 23 August, people will be able to upload short videos answering questions such as “What is your community, city or country doing to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?” or “How can the international community better work together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?”

The six winners will be announced during the high-level MDG summit in New York hosted by the Secretary-General on 23 September, and will meet with him on UN Day 2010 on 24 October.

The campaign – organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI) in partnership with YouTube, UNDP, the UN Foundation (UNF), French broadcaster TV5Monde and with support from Flip Video – is part of a UN initiative to utilize the Internet and social media “to engage a new generation of world citizens in the importance of international diplomacy.”

In a related development, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched today the annual MDG assessment report. It showed that while countries continue to make advances despite the global economic downturn, the rate of improvement remains too slow and countries must step up their efforts if the MDGs are to be achieved by their target date of 2015.

The MDGs will be discussed at the G-20 meeting in Toronto, Canada, this weekend, and at a special high-level summit at the UN Headquarters in New York.

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