9 May 2019

Secretary-General Appoints New Sustainable Development Goals Advocates Committed to Raising Awareness, Inspiring Greater Ambition, Pushing for Faster Action

Peace, prosperity, people, planet and partnerships: the principles at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are also what drive the new class of SDG Advocates, appointed today by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

These 17 influential public figures are committed to raising awareness, inspiring greater ambition, and pushing for faster action on the SDGs, which were adopted by world leaders on 25 September 2015.  United Nations Member States agreed to accomplish the SDGs by 2030.

To build the momentum for transformative, inclusive development by 2030, the Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates will use their unique platforms and leadership to inspire cross-cutting mobilization of the global community.  “We have the tools to answer the questions posed by climate change, environmental pressure, poverty and inequality.  They lie in the great agreements of 2015 — the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change,” the Secretary-General said.  “But tools are no use if you don’t use them,” he emphasized.  “So, today, and every day, my appeal is clear and simple,” he added.  “We need action, ambition and political will.  More action, more ambition and more political will.”

The Secretary-General has tasked the Advocates with driving that action, building that ambition, and solidifying global political will.  The Advocates represent the universal character of the SDGs, hailing from Governments, entertainment, academia, sport, business and activist organizations around the world.  They will leverage and build bridges between their unique audiences and work together to drive progress.

“By joining forces to achieve our goals, we can turn hope into reality — leaving no one behind,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates.

Said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates:  “This is a time of great hope for the world.  If we work smartly together and stay on course, we can raise millions out of poverty and significantly expand basic social services for many more by the 2030 end date of the SDGs.”

The Secretary-General has appointed some members of the previous class of SDG Advocates as SDG Advocate Alumni and looks forward to their ongoing support and engagement.

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The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates are:


  • Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
  • Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway


  • Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
  • Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano (Nigeria)
  • Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder, Education Above All Foundation (Qatar)
  • Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director (United Kingdom)
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Activist, Environment and Indigenous Rights (Chad)
  • Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group (China)
  • Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust (Mozambique)
  • Dia Mirza, Actress and Film Producer, United Nations Environment Programme and Goodwill Ambassador for India
  • Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women (Canada)
  • Nadia Murad, Nobel Laureate, Chair and President, Nadia’s Initiative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador (Iraq)
  • Edward Ndopu, Founder, Global Strategies on Inclusive Education (South Africa)
  • Paul Polman, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair, Board of United Nations Global Compact (Netherlands)
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University (United States)
  • Marta Vieira da Silva, Footballer, Orlando Pride, UN-Women Goodwill Ambassador (Brazil)
  • Forest Whitaker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation (United States)

The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate Alumni are:

  • Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
  • Dho Young-Shim, Ambassador and Chairperson, United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation (Republic of Korea)
  • Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Laureate and Founder, Gbowee Peace Foundation (Liberia)
  • Shakira Mebarak, Founder, Pies Descalzos Foundation (Colombia)
  • Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, Founder, Leo Messi Foundation (Argentina)
  • Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Founder, Grameen Bank (Bangladesh)
For information media. Not an official record.