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Big Names In Support Of One Of History’s Biggest Ever Global Campaigns

Friday 16 January 2015


Desmond Tutu, Shakira, Ben Affleck, Aamir Khan, Bono, Mary Robinson and five Nobel Peace Prize winners have added their names to an open letter to World Leaders to mark the launch of action/2015.

In it they call on world leaders to seize the opportunity that two critical UN summits represent in 2015 to make progress in the fight against poverty, inequality and climate change. They warn that with just months to go too few leaders are playing the leadership roles needed and set out their fears that if this doesn’t change they could be “sleepwalking the world towards one of the greatest failures of recent times.”

As of today the global campaign – made up of more than a thousand organisations, including Save the Children South Africa, in more than 120 countries around the world – is calling on world leaders to agree plans to eradicate poverty, prevent dangerous climate change and tackle inequality at crucial summits in New York and Paris this year.

Columbian singer and UN Goodwill Ambassador Shakira is the latest name to add her support to the campaign.  She joins renowned British campaigner and music icon Annie Lennox, Hollywood star Matt Damon, high profile philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, and renowned moral leader Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

As part of the launch, activities took place in more than 50 countries around the world from Lebanon and Liberia to Nigeria and Norway to South Africa and Sri Lanka with thousands of people taking part.  Many of these were spearheaded by 15 year olds – a constituency who will be among the most affected by the agreements:

  • In South Africa, 15 year olds will gather to urge their leaders to take action. In live broadcasts with well-known celebrities they will speak about their hopes for the future;
  • In India, young people met with their leaders in 15 states and over 150 districts to deliver their messages of hope for 2015;
  • In New York, the Secretary- General of the United Nations Ban Ki- moon was met by a group of 15 year olds to discuss why we need global action in 2015;
  • In Nigeria, 15 year olds presented their hopes for the future to Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at a live concert;
  • In Norway, a delegation of 15 year old campaigners from across the country met with Prime Minister Erna Solberg to challenge her to play her part in the summits and secure a safer future for people and planet in 2015;
  • In Tanzania, 15 year olds met with Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal to discuss their aspirations for the future and the action they want from political leaders in 2015; 
  • In Uganda young people challenged the Speaker of Parliament to listen to their demands when they handed over a petition signed by over 10,000 young people;
  • In the UK, some of Britain’s leading youth activists met with Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Opposition, to urge them to seize the opportunities of 2015.

On social media, the campaign has seen support from a range of high profile names.  Richard Branson added his voice tweeting to his 4.9 million followers; “Today we call on leaders around the world to take the right path for people & planet in 2015.” The Indian actor Ashkay Kumar also shared his support for action/2015 on social media today, with his Facebook post receiving over 23,000 likes.



Notes for Editors

action/2015 – announced by Malala when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize – is one of the biggest campaigns ever to launch – combining environmental, human rights, development organisations and faith networks. From household names like Amnesty International and Save the Children to grassroots NGOs working with local communities, the movement aims to make sure the agreements of 2015 are shaped by the people.

action/2015 is calling on the public to join them in their calls to ensure world leaders commit to a better world.  Throughout 2015, the campaign will provide ways for everyone everywhere to get involved in influencing the outcomes of these global debates that could achieve:

  • An end to poverty in all its forms;
  • The meeting of fundamental rights, tackling inequality and discrimination;
  • An accelerated transition to 100% renewable energy;
  • A world where everyone can participate and hold their leaders accountable. 

For more information please visit:!/action2015Global?fref=ts