Few days after telecommunication giant, MTN Group, appointed the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, into its board of directors, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has appointed the monarch as one of the 17 advocates of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
The emir is currently at loggerheads with the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, who appointed four rival emirates to whittle down his influence.
But a statement released on Thursday by the UN said the advocates, who were selected from governments, entertainment, academia, business and activist organizations around the world, represent the universal character of the SDGs.
Read the statement below
Secretary-General Appoints New Sustainable Development Goals Advocates
Thursday, May 9
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.
Said the Secretary-General, “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.
But tools are no use if you don’t use them. So, today, and every day, my appeal is clear and simple. 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, business and activist organizations around the world. The Advocates 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 Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates group Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway.
Said Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates and President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, “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. Ambassador Dho Young-shim of South Korea will chair the Alumni group.
The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates are:
- His Excellency Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
- Her Excellency Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
- Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium
- His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano
- Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Co-Founder, Qatar Foundation
- Mr. Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director
- Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Activist, Environment and Indigenous Rights
- Mr. Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group
- Mrs. Graça Machel, President, Foundation for Community Development
- Mrs. Dia Mirza, Actress and Film Producer
- Dr. Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women
- Mrs. Nadia Murad Basee Taha, Chair and President, Nadia’s Initiative
- Mr. Edward Ndopu, Founder, Global Strategies on Inclusive Education
- Mr. Paul Polman, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce
- Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
- Ms. Marta Vieira da Silva, Footballer, Orlando Pride
- Mr. Forest Whitaker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation
The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate Alumni are:
- Her Excellency Ms. Dho Young-Shim
- Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
- Leymah Gbowee
- Shakira Mebarak
- Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini
- Muhammad Yunus
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