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UN Releases Special 2020 Broadcast Calling for Collective Action

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By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – In a significant move to mobilise global support, the United Nations, Project Everyone and 72 Films are launching ‘Nations United – Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times’. A first of its kind film has been released September 19 on the UN YouTube channel and global broadcast networks. Watch video

The importance of the move lies in the fact that with just ten years to go for the 2030 deadline, implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is far from satisfactory. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening decade of global progress.

Nations United – Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times sets out what must be done to tackle the world’s biggest issues, from COVID-19 to poverty, inequality, gender discrimination, climate change, justice and human rights. The broadcast will also mark the forthcoming 75th anniversary of the United Nations, as well as the fifth anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Amidst a global crisis, Nations United – Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times takes audiences on a dynamic exploration of the times we live in, the multiple tipping points our planet faces and the interventions that could transform our world over the next ten years. The film is produced by 72 Films and writer, director and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Richard Curtis.

It features, according to the UN Department of Global Communications:

  • Leading activists such as education advocate and UN Messenger of Peace, Malala Yousafzai
  • UN Goodwill Ambassadors Don Cheadle (UNEP) and Michelle Yeoh (UNDP)
  • Sustainable Development Goals Advocate and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace, Forest Whitaker, and actor and women’s rights activist Thandie Newton OBE
  • Professor of Educational Technology, Sugata Mitra
  • An exclusive performance from Grammy-nominated singer Burna Boy, and a new version of a previous UN performance by multi-Grammy award-winning artist Beyoncé
  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed
  • Julia Roberts is hosting a radio broadcast and podcast version of the show, in addition.

The UN Chief says: “Today, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, and the fifth anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals, we feel the weight of history on our shoulders. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how fragile our world and how vulnerable our people are. A microscopic virus has brought us to our knees. That fragility should make us humble and drive us to solidarity as we rebuild the world in a better way.”

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed says: “The way we must exit the pandemic is the same way we must exit the devastating crises of extreme poverty, inequality and climate change – by working together, nations united, inspired by solutions in which we can all play a part. I hope people will watch this film – from leaders to citizens – and think about what more they can individually and collectively do in the fight for a better world for everyone, everywhere.”

Richard Curtis, writer, film director and UN Sustainable Goals Advocate, adds: “Nobody could have anticipated the crisis and uncertainty that we’re living in, but also the immense appetite and opportunity for change that COVID-19 has provided. Through Nations United, we want to tell the story of how we will use the moment to radically transform our world for the better and set out the solutions that will bring about real global change.”

Thandie Newton OBE, women’s rights activist, notes: “In the midst of COVID-19, it’s a historic opportunity to look at the facts of the world as it is – and to then focus on the solutions to some of our greatest problems. In the 75 years since the United Nations was founded, the human race has never had to face a set of challenges like we do right now. But together we can overcome them.” 

Malala Yousafzai, education advocate and UN Messenger of Peace says: “My message right now is to young people. We are living in a world where things are not the way we want; we are getting a system, we are getting a world which is unequal, which is sexist, which is racist. We have systems which are discriminating against people, our climate or environment is at risk. There is so much that needs to be done but I hope that young people stand up, raise their voices, they start their activism right now.”

In the midst of a pandemic radically transforming our world, Nations United – Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times is set apart from other stories in its focus on facts and solutions, recognizing the need for specific evidence-based action which will create real change.

From debt relief, to cutting fossil fuel subsidies, to universal access to healthcare, quality education and digital financial empowerment – the broadcast, the UN will present the decisive and immediate action needed to build a better world. [IDN-InDepthNews – 20 September 2020]

Image credit: UN

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