Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai is among 20 leading global activists and advocates for a variety of causes who have called on world leaders to tackle emergency facing people and planet by taking action to combat the climate crisis, poverty and inequality.
In 2015, all the 193 member states of the United Nations adopted the Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlined 17 sustainable development goals for countries to aim to achieve by 2030, the open letter, released on the Global Goals website, pointed out.
Besides Malala, the letter’s signatories include primatologist Dr Jane Goodall and MeToo founder Tarana Burke. A network of 2,000 advocates across the arts, business and philanthropy, including several from Pakistan, have also signed and supported the letter.
“This is an emergency. We are activists for different causes from across the world, writing as one for the first time to demand your immediate action in this critical year,” the letter reads. It outlines several issues that people are facing on a daily basis across the planet.
“Our climate is heating up. Natural disasters are increasing. Millions flee their homes. Children suffer without vital food and healthcare. Activists are murdered for their views. Girls and women are refused an education and subjected to discrimination and violence.”
“But still dare to hope that in 2020, you will act decisively and courageously and kickstart a decade of action,” the letter said. “We need you to act faster; to find the finance; to track implementation; and to unlock radical solutions,” the letter asks the world leaders. “We are watching you. And we will fight every day, for people, and for planet,” they said.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION
“There are not just a few of us – there are millions with one voice and one question. How will you keep your promise and deliver dramatic progress towards the global goals this year? We await your urgent reply.” On her part, Malala Yousafzai has recently spoken about benefits of supporting women who may not have access to education. “Educated girls have power to transform our world,” she said.
“But without a home or access to education, millions of refugee and displaced girls are unable to fulfil their potential.” The 20 signatories are: Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Tarana Burke, Lydia Cacho, Sophie Cruz, Patrisse Cullors, Jaha Dukureh, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, Dr Jane Goodall, Emi Mahmoud, Andrew Mlangeni, Alaa Murabit, Nadia Murad, Kumi Naidoo, Edward Ndopu, Kennedy Odede, Raull Santiago, Trisha Shetty, Alexandria Villasenor, Melati Wijsen, and Malala Yousafzai.