The UN appoints ex-Emir Sanusi II, 16 others as SDG advocates

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The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, today named the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, and 16 other influential figures around the globe as Sustainable Development Goals Advocates to push the agenda of the global development drive to a new height.

The appointments, which were released today, have Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway as co-chairmen of the committee.

The announcement was contained in a statement released to Vanguard by the Special Assistant to the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Fred Eno.

The statement said: “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.

“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,” said the Secretary-General. 

“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 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, sport, business and activist organizations around the world. The Advocates will leverage and build bridges between their unique audiences, and work together to drive progress.

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.

*Members are:*

– Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians (Kingdom of Belgium)

– His Royal Highness *Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano* (Federal Republic of Nigeria)

– Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder, Education Above All Foundation (State of Qatar)

– Mr. Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

– Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Activist, Environment and Indigenous Rights (Republic of Chad)

– Mr. Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group (People’s Republic of China)

– Mrs. Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust (Republic of Mozambique)

– Ms. Dia Mirza, Actress and Film Producer, UN Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador for India (Republic of India)

– Dr. Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women (Canada)

– Ms. Nadia Murad, Nobel Laureate, Chair and President, Nadia’s Initiative, UN Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador (Republic of Iraq)

– Mr. Edward Ndopu, Founder, Global Strategies on Inclusive Education (Republic of South Africa)

– Mr. Paul Polman, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair of the Board of United Nations Global Compact (Kingdom of the Netherlands)

– Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University (United States of America)

– Ms. Marta Vieira da Silva, Footballer, Orlando Pride, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador (Federative Republic of Brazil)

– Mr. Forest Whitaker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation (United States of America)

*Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate Alumni are:*

– Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (Kingdom of Sweden)

– Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson, United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation (Republic of Korea)

– Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Laureate, Founder, Gbowee Peace Foundation (Republic of Liberia)

– Ms. Shakira Mebarak, Founder, Pies Descalzos Foundation (Republic of Colombia)

– Mr. Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, Founder, Leo Messi Foundation (Argentine Republic)

– Mr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Founder, Grameen Bank (People’s Republic of Bangladesh).

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