By Tim Saunders on
will.i.am has worked with more than thirty other celebrities and activists to create an inspiring short film titled Be the Generation, part of the In My Name campaign to end poverty.
The film, which can be viewed at the White Band Action website, explains how people can end poverty in our lifetime if leaders are held accountable to their promises. It is part of a campaign organized by White Band Action ahead of next week’s emergency UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals in New York, and a host of activists and celebrities – including Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu , Annie Lennox, John Legend, Rahul Bose, Angélique Kidjo, Scarlett Johansson, Missy Higgins, Emmanuel Jal, Wyclef Jean, Kristin Davis, Fergie and Mischa Barton – have come together for the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) to challenge their leaders to keep their promise to halve poverty by 2015.
Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am has also penned a song for the campaign titled In My Name, which calls on world citizens to exercise their power and demand their governments keep their promises to the worlds poor. The song will be downloadable free of charge from September 25.
“We can be the generation that ends poverty,” said will.i.am. “Politicians promised in 2000 to halve poverty in 15 years. They made this pledge in my name, now they must act to achieve it.”
“Governments must be held accountable for their people and their promises,” added Lennox.
To drive the message home, Kidjo and will.iam will perform ‘In My Name’ live outside the UN buildings in New York on 25 September. They will be joined by Queen Rania of Jordan, UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon, Ela Bhatt, Mary Robinson, Kristin Davis, Rahul Bose and activists from Africa, Asia and Latin America who will be amongst the first to sign their names to the “In My Name” pledge wall.
“If I put my name to something it means I am committed to its outcome,” said Angelique Kidjo. “I want to see this sort of response from leaders and others with power to effect change. People living in poverty have waited too long and want to see tangible changes in their lives immediately.”
The White Band Action initiative is a global collaboration between the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, Oxfam, Save the Children, and Comic Relief. It is not being run by any single organization, which demonstrates the breadth of commitment to ending poverty and inequality.
“The time for action has never been more urgent,” said Queen Rania. “Rising food prices have plunged 100 million more people into poverty, and the economic slowdown risks eroding political support for development.”
“We’re half way there, and thanks to people’s efforts and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, there has been real progress,” added Kristin Davis. “There are more children in school. More people are getting essential medicines. But 30,000 children still die every day because of poverty.”
More information about the campaign can be found at www.whitebandaction.org.
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