Global activists in save-planet appeal

Malala joins 2,000 global advocates in urging world leaders to ‘tackle emergency facing people and planet’

By: News Desk      Published: 11:41 AM, 31 Jan, 2020
Pakistan’s Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai

Pakistan’s Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai is among 20 leading global activists and advocates for a variety of causes who have called on world leaders to “tackle the emergency facing people and planet” by taking action to combat the climate crisis, poverty and inequality.

The open letter, released on the Global Goals website, pointed out that In 2015, all the 193 member states of the United Nations adopted the Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlined 17 sustainable development goals for countries to aim to achieve by 2030.

Besides Malala, an advocate for girls’ education, the letter’s signatories include primatologist Dr Jane Goodall and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.

A network of 2,000 advocates across the arts, business and philanthropy, including several from Pakistan, have also signed and supported the letter.

“This is an emergency. We are activists for different causes from across the world, writing as one for the first time to demand your immediate action in this critical year,” the letter reads.

The letter outlines several issues that people are facing on a daily basis across the planet.

“Our climate is heating up. Natural disasters are increasing. Millions flee their homes. Children suffer without vital food and healthcare. Activists are murdered for their views,” it outlines.

“Girls and women are refused education and subjected to discrimination and violence. But still dare to hope that in 2020 you will act decisively and courageously and kickstart a decade of action.

“We need you to act faster,” the letter further asks the world leaders, adding, “To find the finance. To track implementation. To unlock radical solutions.”

The letter said, “We are watching you. And we will fight every day, for people, for planet.

“There are not just a few of us – there are millions with one voice and one question. “How will you keep your promise and deliver dramatic progress towards the Global Goals this year?

“We await your urgent reply.”

On her part, Malala Yousafzai has recently spoken about the benefits of supporting women who may not have access to education. “Educated girls have the power to transform our world,” she said. “But without a home or access to education, millions of refugee and displaced girls are unable to fulfil their potential.”

The 20 signatories are: Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Photographer, environmentalist, filmmaker and founder of Good Planet, France; Tarana Burke, Founder & Executive Director, MeToo, USA

Lydia Cacho, Journalist, human rights activist and writer, Mexico; Sophie Cruz, Human rights activist, USA; Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and founder/chair of Reform LA Jails’ “Yes on R” campaign, USA; Jaha Dukureh, Founder, Safe Hands for Girls, The Gambia; Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Co-founder, Bring Back Our Girls and #RedCardMovement, Nigeria; Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, UK; Emi Mahmoud, World Champion Poet & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, USA/Sudan; Andrew Mlangeni, Political activist and anti-apartheid campaigner, South Africa; Rd. Alaa Murabit, SDG Advocate and CEO, Impact2030;

Libya/Canada; Nadia Murad, President and Chairwoman of Nadia’s Initiative, Iraq; Kumi Naidoo, outgoing secretary general, Amnesty International, South Africa; Edward Ndopu, UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate, South Africa; Kennedy Odede, Founder and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), Kenya; Raull Santiago, Founder, Papo Reto and Movimentos, Brazil; Trisha Shetty, Founder, She Says India; Alexandria Villasenor, Founder, Earth Uprising, USA; Melati Wijsen, Founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Bali, and Malala Yousafzai, Co-founder, Malala Fund, Pakistan.