45 Inspirational Quotes From World Leaders Supporting ‘End Extreme Poverty NOW’

From governments to civil society, dozens of leaders are raising their voice to end extreme poverty.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at Global Citizen Live in Paris. | Anne-Charlotte Compan for Global Citizen

Global Citizen has today announced “End Extreme Poverty Now — Our Future Can’t Wait”, a new year-long global campaign calling on the world’s governments, private sector leaders, and billionaires to step up and make the commitments urgently required to end extreme poverty now.

The campaign calls for urgent commitments in three critical areas: empowering adolescent girls across the world; breaking the systemic barriers that keep people trapped in poverty; and taking meaningful climate action now. You can learn more about the campaign and how you can take action to support it here.

Here’s a selection of the most inspirational quotes from global leaders stepping up to take action in support of the End Extreme Poverty Now — Our Future Can't Wait campaign.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

“These days, we are once again feeling the value of vibrant civil societies. With their vigor, their ingenuity, and their convening power they contribute significantly to positive changes on earth. They count among the most valuable assets of free democratic societies. That’s why I am proud to support Global Citizen’s new campaign, End Extreme Poverty NOW. Change is more needed than ever, as we take up the challenge of building a better world after COVID-19. We want no one to go hungry. We want the same opportunities to succeed for all the world's children — especially girls! And we want to stop global warming. So let’s all join forces to reach our Global Goals.”

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed

“Only together can we keep the promise of the Global Goals for everyone, everywhere. Join me in the Global Citizen End Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait campaign, to deliver the Global Goals — our best hope for people, for the planet, for peace, and for prosperity.”

Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez

“I am delighted to support, once more, Global Citizen in its efforts to bring the world’s attention to some of the most relevant collective challenges ahead of us. I am fully attached to the three main policy priorities chosen for the 2022 campaign. Putting an end to extreme poverty, halting the climate crises, and empowering adolescent girls are all three interconnected. We should put all our political will and efforts into succeeding, for the sake of the most vulnerable, humanity, and the planet.”

Prime Minister of Barbados and Campaign Co-Patron, Mia Mottley

“This year again we continue to face the interconnected challenges that stand between us and protecting the planet and eliminating poverty. From empowering adolescent girls, to ensuring swift access to climate finance; from avoiding climate catastrophe to building a truly resilient global health architecture and protecting and promoting advocacy, we all need to be bold and think out of the box. It is with a sense of urgency that I join Global Citizen as a patron for its 2022 campaign. I call on all of you to join us with the power of ideas and actions so that finally we can move from rhetoric to real change. Let us be bold and let us eliminate extreme poverty NOW.”

Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković

“To better prepare for future crises and strengthen our resilience, global action and solidarity are vital, in particular with respect to the most vulnerable population. This means eradicating health poverty — ensuring vaccine equity, expanding access to health care services, and strengthening health systems. Croatia is assisting with our latest pledge of an additional 550,000 vaccine doses to be donated to Africa, and supports Global Citizen’s campaign End Extreme Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait.”

Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz

"Global crises such as the pandemic or the climate crisis can only be solved together through international cooperation. We will therefore work to make progress towards an equitable world during Germany's G7 Presidency. I support Global Citizen's commitment to end extreme poverty worldwide.”

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa

"We join Global Citizens in continuing our stewardship in ensuring a better world and future for all. The last two years have shown the devastating impact to humanity when we choose individual goals over the global good. Together, we have to take concrete actions that will create a better future for our planet and its people now."

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo

“For Ghana, ensuring that we end poverty, empower young girls, and protect the planet is of utmost importance. This is why we are joining Global Citizens in their 2022 campaign efforts together as one voice and as one community. There is no better time than now.”

President of the Republic of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema

“Zambia is ready to collaborate with the global community on critical deliverables that will ensure we effectively address several socio-economic challenges in order to lift citizens out of extreme poverty. We are especially encouraged by Global Citizen's sense of urgency in this campaign, and we extend our willingness to support these efforts.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, Simon Coveney

“Ireland is delighted to be part of Global Citizen’s campaign ‘End Extreme Poverty Now — Our Future Can’t Wait’. Ending poverty and leaving no one behind have always been at the core of our foreign policy, and we were proud to lead the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our global plan to address these pressing issues. Learning from the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking inspiration from the solidarity with which people around the world met this truly global challenge, we must now recommit to the SDGs and focus on ending poverty and vulnerability for good. Global Citizen’s 2022 campaign underlines that in order to do this, we must rebuild health systems after the pandemic and prepare for future health threats, tackle climate change, empower adolescent girls, and protect civic space. These priorities are close to our hearts in Ireland and we will support all efforts to make them a reality.”

Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, and Event Patron of Global Citizen, Sandiaga Uno

"The triple challenge of health, economic, and climate crises that we face today makes it absolutely clear that governments, business, civil societies, and the youth — irrespective of their political systems — must join forces if we are to recover together and recover stronger. Now is the time for all of us to be imaginative and bold in resolving the complex challenges of our time. Global Citizen embodies that very spirit of idealism and can-do-ism to keep the needle of transformation moving forward. That’s why I am proud to partner with Global Citizen and serve as a patron of their campaign efforts ahead of this year’s G20 summit.”

Government of Peru

“As Global Citizen in its 2022 campaign addresses key issues of the development agenda, especially on the reduction of poverty, climate change, and empowerment of adolescent young women, Peru joins to support its pursuit of a better world. In particular, Peru is promoting the launch of negotiations on a Legally Binding Treaty to end plastic pollution, which is a key environmental challenge that harms humans and pollutes the land, air, and sea.”

Minister of Environment of Rwanda, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya

“We are excited to be supporting Global Citizen in its campaigning efforts this year, especially on climate change. Rwanda has placed green growth at the center of creating sustainable jobs, improving communities’ livelihoods, and enhancing climate resilience across the board, and Global Citizen is an important channel for people to effect positive change. Its advocacy role can also raise global awareness to act on the challenges that Rwanda and other developing nations face because of climate change.”

Foreign Minister of Nigeria, Geoffrey Onyeama

“It is alarming to learn that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the very rich have been getting richer and the very poor, poorer. This is untenable and a threat to the future of mankind. Global Citizen is right, we must be our brothers' keepers. We must act right now.”

COP26 President, Alok Sharma

“Last year we saw progress on the climate agenda, but the real test is what happens now, pushing forward the delivery of the commitments that have been made. Citizens around the world play an important role in holding their governments and the private sector to account. This is why I'm supporting Global Citizen's campaign calling for ambitious actions to keep the world within 1.5 degrees of warming. Only by joining forces with civil society can we ensure that multilateral platforms have meaningful outcomes.”

8th UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

"The End Extreme Poverty Now campaign by Global Citizen emphasizes our immediate responsibility to reduce poverty and to address the necessary global food system transformation. All of our efforts to eradicate poverty should prioritize climate-smart agricultural innovations that improve agricultural adaptation and empower smallholder farmers."

Former Executive Director of UN Women, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

"I commend Global Citizen for their renewed focus in 2022 on addressing the dramatic situation facing adolescent girls today, in the midst of a global pandemic which has set back so much progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. We must reclaim the gains over the last two years and make Generation Equality a reality — together we can transform investments in girls and emerge stronger than before."

UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor

"I am delighted that Global Citizen is adding its voice to protect civil society space and recognizes the fundamental role played by human rights defenders in creating a more just and equal world. We cannot end poverty and achieve sustainable development without ensuring that human rights defenders are free to protect and support their communities, hold governments to account, and highlight human rights violations in business operations. I am hopeful this campaign and the Global Citizen platform will shine a greater light on the extreme risks that many human rights defenders are subject to for standing up for the rights of others."

Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr. Natalia Kanem

"Every girl has within her possibilities that should flourish as she moves into adulthood, shaping her future and, with it, the world. But COVID-19 has had a devastating impact, turning back the clock on gender equality and putting decades of progress at risk. As we build forward better and fairer, we must put adolescent girls' rights and choices at the forefront of our efforts and prioritize universal access to sexual and reproductive health services. UNFPA is joining forces with Global Citizen to build a future in which every girl can realize her full potential and power."

UN SDG Advocate and Founder of A Billion Reasons, Eddie Ndopu

"Addressing the poverty crisis requires addressing the disability inequality crisis. The poverty rate and unemployment rate for disabled people is twice as high as for non-disabled people. A gap that has remained constant for the past 10 years across economic downturn and recovery. Disability is more often a socially disadvantaged status than a biological impairment. A BILLION REASONS joins Global Citizen in their campaign to defeat poverty and break the systemic barriers of ableism towards a society in which all are given the fullness of life.”

Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

“Global collaboration that leads to effective action is needed now, more than ever, to end the pandemic, help communities recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and address climate change. At the heart of our work must be equity in supporting all people in need, from delivering vaccines and health services, to economic relief. WHO supports Global Citizen’s latest drive to raise awareness on these issues and mobilize support to make a lasting difference in people’s lives.”

President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid

“As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we must address the inequities that characterized the world leading up to it. We have a responsibility to protect vulnerable communities that are marginalized and discriminated against. We have to empower young people, especially young women and girls, to realize that they can do anything. And we must safeguard our earth and its natural treasures for future generations. That’s why I stand with Global Citizen and their End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign.”

CEO of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley

“Over the past two years, vaccine inequity has left billions of people vulnerable to COVID-19 and allowed deadly variants to emerge and spread across the world. We welcome Global Citizen’s campaign to bring an end to the pandemic by expanding vaccine access to lower income countries. Doing so will require urgent global action, including ensuring the COVAX AMC has the funding it needs to help countries protect their populations. We need the support of all stakeholders to capitalize on the foundation we’ve built and break COVID now."

CEO of Rotary International, John Hewko

“As we’ve learned from the COVID-19 outbreak, it is far better to take action now to prevent future threats than to try and limit the damage when that change arrives. The 17 Global Goals — from eradicating poverty to achieving gender equality by 2030 — may appear daunting but significant work is underway. We, like Global Citizen, are empowering girls through health care, nutrition, sanitation, and education; accelerating the end of the COVID-19 pandemic by driving actions for global vaccine equity; and advocating for solutions to climate change.”

Director of External Relations and Communications of The Global Fund, Francoise Vanni

“The Global Fund fights injustice which fuels infectious diseases and is at the forefront of the global COVID-19 response. Since 2002, the organization has saved more than 44 million lives, decreasing deaths caused by AIDS, TB, and malaria. In the poorest countries of the world, the trickle-down impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria programs is causing additional harm, particularly to the most vulnerable. We support this action calling on leaders to unite to fight poverty and reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

CEO of FIND, Bill Rodriguez

“Today, millions of vaccinated people in Europe and the United States are setting aside their masks, smiling at friends and colleagues, and glimpsing a brighter tomorrow after two dark years. But on the other side of the world, the poorer side, only 1 in 10 people has received even one dose of vaccine. Only 1 of every 8,000 people can get a COVID-19 test. Yet again, this pandemic has brought us to a crossroads. The urgent question facing us isn’t: is the pandemic over? The question is: will health for all remain an empty catchphrase, a slogan without commitment?

“Our science and our resources have allowed citizens of high-income countries to see a brighter future. But people in low-income countries are struggling with limited access to resources, limited access to vaccines, limited access to tests, limited access to treatments. The ACT-Accelerator has allowed everyone to glimpse what is possible when we work together — as true global citizens — to bring health to all. But we cannot stop until the job is finished: from building new factories in Africa and Latin America that bring tests and vaccines where they are needed most; to distributing inexpensive self-tests that help people protect themselves and their families; to powering up the genome sequencing machines that detect new variants as they emerge. If the pandemic has delivered one consistent message, it is this: health for all is not a magic wand we wave in a crisis, but a commitment that endures.”

President of IFAD, Gilbert F. Houngbo

"Our efforts to defend the planet cannot be called ‘just’ when small-scale farmers — who are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change — receive only 1.7% of existing climate financing. By placing rural small-scale farmers at the heart of its advocacy, Global Citizen's campaign highlights the need to support agricultural adaptation. ‘End Extreme Poverty NOW’ upholds the tenets of investing in small-scale farming as a key mechanism to transform food systems and build climate-resilient communities."

Executive Director of UN World Food Programme, David Beasley

“There is a ring of fire stretching around the world where conflict and climate shocks compounded by COVID-19 and rising costs are driving millions of people to the brink of starvation — threatening to increase migration and instability globally this year. If we don’t act fast we are going to pay a mighty big price.”

Education Cannot Wait

“Education Cannot Wait is proud to support Global Citizen’s new campaign, End Extreme Poverty NOW. Indeed, we can no longer wait, more than 128 million children and youth are living in conflict and forced displacement, and have had their education put further at risk due to the pandemic of the last two years on top of their already existing protracted crises and abject poverty. The time to act is NOW. Their life, their hope, and thus their education cannot wait.”

President of The ONE Campaign, Tom Hart

“If the pandemic has taught us one thing it is this; letting inequality and injustice persist makes our whole world weaker and puts us all at greater risk. With decades of progress lying in ruins, it’s clear that the only recovery from this crisis is one that addresses these underlying issues and builds a world that works for everyone.”

Development Director of Center for Environmental Peacebuilding, Carla Melaco

“The time for waiting is long gone. The Center for Environmental Peacebuilding (CEPB) stands together with Global Citizen to take action against the climate crisis and demand a brighter, more just, and more sustainable world.”

CEO of Conservation International, Dr. M. Sanjayan

“Though we often discuss climate policy on the order of decades, the crisis has already arrived — and the people who have contributed the least to the problem are the same ones who will suffer the most. Rising temperatures and sea levels threaten billions of livelihoods in low-income regions, and decisive climate action is necessary to prevent continued growth of extreme poverty and hunger. Conservation International stands firmly behind Global Citizen’s call for climate justice, which can only begin with robust financial support for the Indigenous peoples and local communities on the front lines of climate change.”

CEO and Chief Scientist of Re:wild, Dr. Wes Sechrest

"The powerful partnership between Re:wild, Global Citizen, and CEPB has genuinely been a catalytic force in the Brazilian Amazon, where environmental protections have moved slowly for years. Thanks to the participation of artists who are loved in Brazil — such as Chris Martin from Coldplay — we saw the governors of several Amazon states make critical commitments to safeguarding Amazonia. In the short-term, this provides an opportunity to begin to reverse the devastating environmental destruction in the country, which affects not only wildlife, wildlands, and the climate, but people’s lives and any chance they may have for a dignified future, especially those who depend most directly on the Amazon for their survival. In the longer term, it means the ultimate opportunity for us all, as global citizens, to live on a healthy and sustainable planet."

Executive Director of C40, Mark Watts

"Cities around the world recognize that the climate crisis is not only the most urgent challenge facing humanity, but that ending pollution is also an opportunity to create a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future for all. Although the science is clear, inter-governmental processes are still unable to achieve a level of action that matches the urgency of the climate emergency. C40 cities, however, have shown that they can work together across cultural, political, and geographic boundaries. They are rising to the challenge of climate justice and embracing a green revolution that improves lives, protects health, combats poverty, and creates more livable and equitable communities. We’re thrilled to bring the global power and influence of the world’s largest cities to this campaign and join with our partners around the world to address the triple crises of climate change, COVID-19, and poverty."

Director of Engagement of Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Michael Shank

“Cities are on the front lines of both of these poverty and planetary crises; it’s where social and climate inequities and impacts are most evident, due to decades of unsustainable development. Our extractive, emissions-heavy, and energy-intensive approach to development has been ruinous to populations and the planet. Since cities sit at the nexus of these crises, they require our full focus — especially for priority, frontline communities — which is why Global Citizen’s End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign is so critical. One crisis can’t be fixed in isolation from the other. Our approach to people and the planet is intertwined and implicates business as usual. As these crises increase, it's clear that the NOW campaign has never been more necessary.”

Executive Director of Media For Community Change Initiative, Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun

“Getting to zero means tackling the deep chronic poverty of disabled, elderly, Indigenous, low caste, and other marginalized groups, often in remote areas. That will require profound changes in government policy and social attitudes, rather than just business (and growth) as usual. Poverty eradication demands partnerships and an international backstop. To prevent people falling back into poverty, all hands must be on deck and the international aid architecture must act as a backstop, providing a basic minimum when domestic governments are unable to do so. This is why we at Media For Community Change Initiative are supporting the Global Citizen Race to Zero Campaign, together we can.”

Executive Director of International Service for Human Rights, Phil Lynch

“Governments, international organizations, and the private sector cannot continue to ignore the concerns of communities and individuals who act to combat the repression of civic freedoms and human rights, extreme inequalities, and climate change. Human rights defenders are a unique and powerful voice. We should all embrace and learn from their experiences and knowledge, making them genuine allies in the struggle to meet the urgent global challenges we face; and we join Global Citizen in its campaign in support of protecting and defending our shared civic space."

Founder and Director of Peace Boat, Yoshioka Tatsuya

"Based in Japan, Peace Boat is an international NGO which promotes peace, human rights, and sustainability through global educational voyages. Defeating poverty and inequity, and protecting our planet, are vital to building a peaceful world. We wholeheartedly support Global Citizen's 2022 campaign and look forward to working together!”

Founder and CEO of Brazil’s Gerando Falcões, Edu Lyra

“Our 10-year journey has been all about ending poverty, a very similar mission to Global Citizen’s. We work all over Brazil as an ecosystem of NGOs, delivering educational, citizenship-driven, entrepreneurial, health, and sports services (among others) to the poor communities known as favelas, where millions of Brazilians still live. Our main objective is to break the poverty cycle and lift these families out of it. I get out of bed every morning with this goal in mind, and this opportunity of working with Global Citizen makes me feel confident that we will fulfill our motto: to send the poverty of the favela to the museum, before Mars is colonized.”

Founder of Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, Dino Patti Djalal

"We are possibly the first generation that can end extreme poverty, and the last generation that can save humanity from a scorching 4-degree world. I strongly believe we can meet these monumental challenges because the real superpower in our world today is not any particular country but the millions and billions of global citizens who want a better world and are willing to act on it. This is why Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) and I are pleased to join Global Citizen in this historic crossroad for humanity. I hope the voices raised by Global Citizen will be heard by governments and will be joined by civil societies from all corners of the world. We need all hands on deck.”

Head of Donor Tracker, Raimund Zühr

“Through our work on the Donor Tracker, we know how powerful advocacy can be when organizations come together to demand change. We need governments to provide the political leadership and funding needed to tackle the most urgent challenges of our times, from ending poverty, to improving the opportunities available to girls around the world, to fighting climate change. That’s why we fully endorse Global Citizen’s 2022 campaign.”

Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce, John W.H. Denton

“ICC’s mission is to enable business worldwide to secure peace, prosperity, and opportunity for all. We fully support Global Citizen in their efforts to defeat poverty, demand equity, and defend the planet.”

World Benchmarking Alliance

“The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) is delighted to be an ally of Global Citizen. We applaud this campaign in bringing about meaningful action towards climate change, addressing gender empowerment, and breaking barriers to reduce poverty. Together, we believe in the power of collective action, and look forward to building on partnerships to drive systemic progress on the SDGs.”

Co-Founder and Co-CEO of NPX, Lindsay Beck

“Solutions exist to drive measurable impact today, but to unlock the capital necessary to implement these solutions and deliver on the Global Goals, innovative finance is a must. NPX is proud to partner with Global Citizen to create innovative ways for donors and investors to make commitments explicitly tied to impact. Together, we can accelerate progress towards ending extreme poverty.”

CEO of WHO Foundation, Anil Soni

“It is a tragedy that the large bulk of vaccine supply and production is concentrated in a handful of high-income countries. Being protected should not depend on where you live. The only way to ensure we can end this global health emergency is by getting COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income countries, helping protect those who need vaccines the most. This is a pivotal moment to reach the global target of vaccinating 70% of the world by summer 2022. Together, we must tackle the greatest global health challenge of our time.”

SOURCE https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/end-extreme-poverty-now-world-leader-quotes/
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