Brussels, Belgium

2 April 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at Millennium Development Goals Film Festival

I am delighted to participate in this MDG Film Festival. I thank the organizers for this wonderful opportunity.

This is a crucial year for the Millennium Development Goals as we head towards the 2015 deadline.

I speak out everywhere I go about the importance of speeding up progress towards our targets on poverty, health, education, equality and the environment. I do my best to spread this message – but films have a certain magic ability to capture people’s hearts. That is why I am so pleased that this film festival has been shining a creative spotlight on the MDGs. By portraying real people and their struggles, you help to unite the global public and mobilize action for the Goals. I am proud that the United Nations team in Brussels has been part of this effort.

My message to all those attending this Film Festival is simple: be a global citizen. Our world is very small. With one click of your mouse or tap on your phone, you can connect, engage and act. You can help raise awareness on your social networks and in your neighbourhoods. You can make a difference.

Everyone coming to see these films has an interest in our world. Now the challenge is to take that interest and convert it into activism. Raise your voices. Speak out. Pressure your leaders – and lead your friends to make a difference. Join the United Nations in our global campaign to address poverty and promote human dignity.

While we advance towards the Millennium Development Goals, we are also shaping a vision for the longer-term. The United Nations is leading an unprecedented effort to gather governments and peoples to agree on a universal set of sustainable development goals. There is no more important priority for the world.

As we watch today’s screening, let us keep our sights on our collective future.

Thank you.