This is a guest blog by RESULTS grassroots advocate Sophia Kleanthous.
“The status quo is no longer acceptable for anyone. Global Citizens are you ready to lift the world?!” Global Citizen Prize, 2019
Last Friday myself and a fellow group of volunteers from the RESULTS UK London group were invited to attend the Global Citizen Prize event at the Royal Albert Hall. Global Citizen are an international NGO that works to fight and eradicate poverty in all forms. The Global Citizen prize is an annual event honouring the world’s greatest activists and young people who have shown significant commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or the Global Goals) and empowering their communities – particularly in lower- and middle-income countries – to make change. These include world leaders, business leaders and young activists. We were all so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the recipients’ impact on issues relating to health, education and the environment.
“Being surrounded by so many individuals, businesses and organisations, all channelling effort and energy into eradicating global poverty, was nothing short of inspiring. What this event did was highlight the tremendous opportunities for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and creating a more prosperous world for all.”
Layla Moccia, RESULTS advocate
One of the highlights of the event for me was seeing Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations receiving the Global Citizen World Leader Prize. She has previously served 3 Nigerian Presidents where she oversaw the 5% national reduction in HIV infections and a 32% reduction in maternal mortality. As a Nigerian-British politician the work she has done on the HIV crisis and global health is monumental. During her speech Amina discussed the need for immediate action on the Global Goals from governments, NGOs, health professionals and members of the public globally. She noted that “the only purpose of power is to serve with the courage of one’s conviction and that all people in the world have the rights that must be respected.”
A second highlight was the fantastic speech by Hamdi Ulukaya who received the award for Global Citizen Business Leader. Hamdi received the award as a dedicated support of refugee rights. His initiative called the ‘Tent Partnership for Refugees’ has mobilised the private sector to improve the lives over 25 million refugees and displaced people. Work like Hamdi’s gives me hope that the private sector, public sector and voluntary sector can come together to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.
On the night, there were once-in-a-lifetime performances by Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Stormzy, Chris Martin and my personal favourite, Sting. The whole evening was completely unexpected, inspiring and magical. On behalf of the London Group I would like to thank RESULTS and Global Citizen for giving us this opportunity to see some of the greatest activists and musicians in the world. Things like this are so rare for activists like us. We volunteer our time to help with SDGs because we love it and it is great to see the community being honoured.