UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of a group of eminent persons to assist in the campaign to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that world leaders unanimously adopted last September.

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. They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success”

Ban Ki-moonSecretary-General

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 SDGs Advocates. The group will be officially launched on 21 January 2016 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In a panel discussion, Ban Ki-moon and the Co-Chairs of the Group Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, and President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama, will discuss how the new SDGs can be translated into practice.

They will be joined by four of the Advocates: Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, Canadian physician and women’s right activist Alaa Murabit, American economist Jeffrey Sachs, and American actor, director and producer Forest Whitaker. The event will be moderated by journalist Janine Di Giovanni from Newsweek.

The newly appointed SDGs Advocates are:
  • H.E. Mrs. Erna Solberg (Co-Chair) Prime Minister of Norway
  • H.E. Mr. John Dramani Mahama (Co-Chair)President of Ghana
  • Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium
  • Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Mr. Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director
  • Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson, United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation
  • Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Director, Gbowee Peace Foundation
  • Mr. Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group
  • Mrs. Graça Machel, President, Foundation for Community Development
  • Mr. Leo Messi, World Renowned Footballer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
  • Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser
  • Ms. Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women
  • Mr. Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Colombia University
  • Ms. Shakira Mebarak, Artist, Advocate and Founder, Pies Descalzos Foundation, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
  • Mr. Forest Whitaker, Founder and CEO, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank
Source: UN Department of Public Information