What do Shakira, Jack Ma, and Lionel Messi Have in Common?

On Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced 17 advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals. This group, co-chaired by Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, will help build support for the global goals and engage people from across sectors and across the world in achieving them.

Advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals also include United Nations Foundation Board Member Muhammad Yunus and UN Foundation Board Member Emeritus Graça Machel.


Last September, world leaders gathered at the UN and adopted 17 global goals for sustainable development, which provide a common set of priorities to end poverty, promote opportunity for all, and address environmental degradation and climate change by 2030.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s leaders and the people,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”

Achieving the global goals will require broad participation – from businesses, governments, civil society organizations, and many other communities and citizens. The good news is everyone can play a role in helping drive progress, and supporting the life-saving work of the UN – from promoting children’s health to empowering girls and women to expanding access to sustainable energy – is one of the best ways to get involved.

In addition to the co-chairs, the advocates for the global goals are:

  • Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium
  • Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Mr. Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director
  • Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson, United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation
  • Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Director, Gbowee Peace Foundation
  • Mr. Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group
  • Mrs. Graça Machel, President, Foundation for Community Development
  • Mr. Leo Messi, World Renowned Footballer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
  • Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser
  • Ms. Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women
  • Mr. Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Colombia University
  • Ms. Shakira Mebarak, Artist, Advocate and Founder, Pies Descalzos Foundation, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
  • Mr. Forest Whitaker, Founder and CEO, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank and a Board Member of the UN Foundation

TAKE ACTION: To learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals, visit the UN website un.org/sustainabledevelopment.

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