September 4, 2015 / 7:42 AM / 2 years ago

Celebrities, artists launch campaign backing U.N. development goals

UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Supporters of global goals to end poverty and promote human rights, an agenda that goes before the United Nations this month, kicked off a massive campaign this week, saying publicity is key to winning the backing of world leaders.

The campaign will use radio spots, social media, advertisements and a star-studded concert in New York to highlight the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said filmmaker Richard Curtis, one of the organizers.

The 17 SDGs range from ending hunger and reducing inequality to combating climate change, conserving oceans and promoting education over the next 15 years. They are due to be adopted by 193 countries at a Sept. 25-27 U.N. summit.

Publicity is essential to getting the goals adopted, implemented and funded, Curtis said on Thursday at a news conference at the U.N.

“The first thing is to get them known, get them discussed,” he said, “so the politicians know there is a global ambition for global citizens to fight for these goals for the next 15 years.”

Getting online attention for the goals in social media is critical, said the filmmaker, whose best-known movies include “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Notting Hill” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

The promotion includes a lighthearted “Dizzy Goals” video campaign in which soccer stars spin around to make themselves dizzy and then try, often unsuccessfully, to kick a goal.

Organizers said they would like to see it grow as successful as the Ice Bucket Challenge that raised money for patient care and research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The concert for the SDGs in New York’s Central Park on Sept. 26 stars Beyonce, Coldplay and Pearl Jam, organizers said.

Despite the entertainment aspects of the publicity campaign, “what we want at the end are results,” said Amina Mohammed, U.N. special advisor of the secretary-general on post-2015 development planning.

“We want people to know these, to embrace them, in ways that they will advocate but also ways in which they will invest so that in 2030 we do have and have made a real difference.”

Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, Editing by Alisa Tang. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org

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