•Honours global change makers
Chiemelie Ezeobi in New York
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) yesterday, reiterated its commitment to advance the 2030 global target of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by committing $200 million.
The 2030 target was agreed upon on September 25, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, when 193 world leaders committed to the 17 SDGs (Global Goals), a series of ambitious objectives and targets to achieve three extraordinary things by ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change, amongst others.
The foundation was responding to the alarming reversal in progress on Global Goal 3 by announcing commitments totaling $200 million to help achieve universal access to family planning products and information, faster delivery of lifesaving health solutions, and a reduction in maternal and child mortality.
While the long-term commitment of up to $100 million was to help meet the demand in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) for family planning supplies, the other long-term commitment of $100 million was to bring faster access to health products in low- and middle-income countries.
“Halfway to the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals, our annual Goalkeepers Report shows that on 18 indicators—from poverty to gender equality, education to food security, health to climate—the world is off track,” the CEO of the Gates Foundation, Mark Suzman said.
“But we also see where innovation, investment, and the extraordinary work of passionate change-makers around the world have the potential to turn the tide, saving the lives of 2 million mothers and babies by 2030,” he added.
Hosting the Goalkeepers 2023, on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly week, the foundation brought to the forefront discussions on current and future efforts to achieve the Global Goals through concrete action and new approaches to development finance.
Participants included Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan; President William Ruto of Kenya; Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo; Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and more than 400 young changemakers from around the world.
The daytime event also featured special guests Jon Batiste, American musician and singer; David Oyelowo, actor, director, and producer; Titilope Sonuga, Nigerian poet and former poet laureate; and Sallie Krawcheck, founder of Ellevest.
Meanwhile, the foundation bestowed awards on some change makers and six world leaders across the globe, who have made recognisable contributions in their communities and around the world to advance progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
The awardees included Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, Bono, and activists from Cameroon, Ethiopia, and the United States- Ashu Martha Agbornyenty, Eden Tadesse. Tadesse and the trio
Aidan Reilly, Ben Collier, and James Kanoff, respectively.
“This year’s Goalkeepers Global Goals Award winners show us how human ingenuity and innovation can help tackle some of the world’s most difficult challenges,” said Blessing Omakwu, deputy director, global content and campaigns and Goalkeepers lead.
“Everyone has the power to make a difference in their communities, and these courageous and indefatigable advocates are helping tens of thousands of people live healthier, more productive lives,” she added.
This year’s 2023 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards Ceremony was hosted by Elaine Welteroth, award-winning journalist, TV host, and author, and was attended by global leaders, activists, and celebrities.
The event included special performances by Tiwa Savage, Nigerian singer-songwriter and actress; Usha Jey, Tamil dancer and choreographer; Zara Larsson, Swedish singer-songwriter; and the Harlem Gospel Choir.; Zara Larsson, Swedish singer-songwriter; and the Harlem Gospel Choir.