The 2023 Global Citizen Festival campaign has culminated in the largest commitment from any government this year to the International Fund for Agricultural Development to address the global hunger crisis, announced by Emmanuel Macron, President of France.
An unforgettable day of advocacy and action in Central Park saw landmark commitments from world leaders, philanthropists and the business community, alongside powerful performances and appearances from the biggest names in music and entertainment to advance Global Citizen’s mission to End Extreme Poverty NOW, and hold to account leaders from around the world gathered in New York City for the UN General Assembly.
The flagship event from Global Citizen, the world’s leading international advocacy organization, generated a record-shattering 3.3 million actions taken by global citizens around the world, calling on governments to address the major systemic issues our world is facing, including the global hunger crisis, the climate crisis, and equity for women and girls.
The 2023 Global Citizen Festival featured performances and appearances from the biggest names in music and entertainment. A stunning performance from Anitta featured high energy renditions of “Envolver”, “Funk Rave” and “Used To Be”. Jung Kook had the Great Lawn dancing with his hit single “SEVEN (feat. Latto)”, and a medley of BTS’ mega hits including “Dynamite” and “Butter”. Jung Kook also played a short video clip providing the first look of his new upcoming single “3D”. A tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip hop included surprise performances from Busta Rhymes, Common, Big Daddy Kane and Rapsody alongside D-Nice.
Launching into her tour celebrating the 25th Anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Ms. Lauryn Hill treated the crowd to her classics including “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Everything Is Everything”, and was joined on stage by The Fugees for soulful renditions of “Killing Me Softly”, “Ready or Not” and “Fu-Gee-La”. Red Hot Chili Peppers closed out the night with an epic set featuring their greatest hits, including “Can’t Stop”, “Scar Tissue” and “Californication”.
“At a time when some leaders are walking back their promises, your actions deliver impact. So don’t stop taking action. Climate change can’t hit pause while world leaders get their act together. So don’t stop. The poorest people on Earth don’t have decades to spare. So don’t stop. We can’t wait for someone else to take action. We have to take action NOW.” – Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and CEO, Global Citizen
The 2023 Global Citizen Festival was broadcast and streamed to the world on ABC News Live, Apple Music and the Apple TV app, Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch, Facebook, HBO Max, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Instagram, Mediacorp, SABC, TikTok, TimesLIVE, TNT, TV3, Veeps, YouTube, the Global Citizen app. A primetime special, Global Citizen Festival 2023, will air on ABC on Sunday, September 24 at 7:00 pm EST.
FOR FOOD AND FOR JOBS
The 2023 Global Citizen Festival saw major progress made to address the world’s worsening food insecurity crisis. Responding to global citizens’ calls for urgent action, Emmanuel Macron, President of France announced via video message a $150 million commitment to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – currently the most committed by any government in its 13th replenishment. Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway’s Minister of International Development also pledged $90 million to the fund.
In a moment of collective action from Central Park’s Great Lawn, global citizens signed the Face Up To Hunger petition, which is part of the Hungry For Action campaign, by submitting selfies, demanding world leaders act with urgency to address the global food crisis and prevent famine for the 49 million people facing emergency levels of hunger.
Much more needs to be done to provide crucial support to millions of smallholder farmers around the world, who produce 70 percent of food in low and middle-income countries. Global Citizen continues to call on world leaders to follow the example of France and Norway and increase their contributions to IFAD by at least 50 percent to ensure the agency reaches its funding target of $2 billion by the end of 2023, and will continue to urge Australia to rejoin IFAD as a member state.
Continuing a year of dedicated action to address the inequity of women and girls, the 2023 Global Citizen Festival saw the Government of Belgium commit €2 million to support the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Supplies Program, which provides lifesaving and life-changing sexual and reproductive health services. Phoebe Gates also took the stage on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to introduce a $100 million contribution to UNFPA, made earlier in the week.
The Government of France announced a €40 million commitment to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), which stands ready to educate 20 million children living through emergencies and crises, such as displacement and conflict. The Government of Malta also made a commitment to support children facing conflict via video message at the festival. Global Citizen continues to call on governments to meet the remaining $620 million needed for ECW to continue its urgent work.
Additionally, Accenture announced a $4.5 million commitment in support of the Aspen Institute’s Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) in Brazil, Columbia, India, Mexico and South Africa. GOYN improves access for young people to productive and dignified employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, and to skills and resources to help them thrive in the future of work.
Continuing the momentum generated during the Global Citizen NOW summit in April, major brands including The Body Shop, LUSH, Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Ben and Jerry’s signed a pledge against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), committing to protect the human right to freedom of expression without fear of intimidation or retaliation. The governments of Lithuania and Kosovo, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also encouraged global citizens everywhere to stand up for equality, freedom and justice during the festival.
FOR THE PLANET
As part of the Global Citizen Festival campaign, the organization invited both the UK government and His Majesty’s opposition to participate and detail their climate action commitments. In total, over 161,523 climate-related actions have been taken by global citizens in the UK to remind the British government of their promises and responsibilities, including the urgent need to publish their plan for the £11.6 billion climate finance pledge made in 2019. The Sunak Government declined to participate in today’s day of action.
The Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, announced his government will provide €149 million in climate financing this year, and committed to uphold its promise to contribute €225 million annually from 2025 onwards.
The Brazilian state of Pará returned to the Global Citizen Festival stage to pledge to further expand its protected areas of the Amazon rainforest by 1 million hectares by 2025, furthering the ambition of their commitments made in 2021. The primary focus will be on safeguarding indigenous lands and eliminating illegal deforestation as well as restoring 5 million hectares of forest by 2030. Global Citizen urges all Amazonian governments to join with President Lula in committing to end illegal deforestation by 2030.
Earlier this year, Global Citizen and its partners issued a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of its ongoing Power Our Planet campaign, calling for an additional reallocation of Canada’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which can be used to provide affordable financing to low-income countries. During the Global Citizen Festival, a representative from the Canadian Government highlighted its announcement earlier in the week of an additional CAD$700 million in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to the International Monetary Fund’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust.
Over 34,000 Global Citizens also called on Congress to oppose proposed cuts to foreign aid by nearly 30 percent in the U.S. FY2024 budget. Today, seven members of the U.S. Congress, including Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Rep. Ann Wagner, and Rep. Grace Meng declared their commitment to supporting robust funding for foreign assistance in FY24.
Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, took to the Global Citizen Festival stage to make an historic announcement, becoming the first non-Pacific nation to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, which outlines a global plan to phase out fossil fuels, accelerate the adoption of renewable energy, and ensure an equitable transition to clean energy for all communities. José Ramos-Horta, President of Timor Leste, also affirmed his country’s commitment to the treaty during the event.
Global Citizen’s Young Artists Collective, a program showcasing original works from art students to raise awareness, create dialogue, and drive action-taking, activated at the Global Citizen Festival with an outdoor photo gallery displaying artwork from 12 selected students inspired by the creative prompt “Equity and its effects in today’s world”. Click here to learn more.
In what was its most sustainable Global Citizen Festival to date, Global Citizen partnered with Everland to make a positive contribution to nature and cover the estimated carbon emissions of the event by supporting community-centered forest conservation.
Cisco and Rife International signed Global Citizen’s Power Our Planet Private Sector Declaration, pledging to cut emissions in line with the UN’s Race to Zero, and make sustainable investments in countries facing the worst impacts of climate change.
This action to address the climate crisis continues Global Citizen’s Power Our Planet campaign, and builds on the momentum generated by June’s Power Our Planet: Live in Paris event, where World Bank President Ajay Banga announced a new debt pause pilot program that will benefit countries struck by natural disasters. Global Citizen is closely monitoring the implementation of this initiative, and calls on other multilateral development banks to adopt similar clauses, and broaden it to also include countries struck by pandemics.
Global Citizen Festival is presented by Citi and Cisco. Global Partners are Accenture, Delta Air Lines, P&G, TimesLIVE and Verizon; Campaign Partners Bridgewater Associates, Motsepe Foundation and World Wide Technology; with Live Nation, iHeartMedia, and Location Partner New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The Global Citizen Festival broadcast is produced by Done and Dusted.
Global Citizen is grateful for the support of leading media companies across the world including: AIM Group, Altermark, Arena Holdings, Atmosphere TV, Bandsintown, Bella Naija, Billboard, Billboard Mexico, Branded Cities, Captivate, Digital Mobile Media, EIB Network, Grocery TV, Grupo De Haro, GSTV, Interstate Outdoor, MX Location, New Tradition, Orange Barrel Media, OUTFRONT Media, Penske Media, Rolling Stone, Seen Media, Six Flags Theme Parks, Spotify, Trooh Media, Vanguard Media, Variety, VIBE, Vox Media, The Wall Street Journal and Zikoko; and the support of in-kind partners: Impossible Foods and PATH Water.
The 2023 Global Citizen Festival campaign and its policy goals are supported by: African Climate Reality Project; Aspire Artemis Foundation Inc.; Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens; BASICS International; Bays Planet Foundation; Beyond Bretton Woods; Blended Finance Taskforce; Brave Foundation; Center for Environmental Peacebuilding; Chanja Datti; Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean; Common Good Marketplace; Connected Development; Don’t Gas Africa; E3G; Earth For All; ECB Sustainable Youth Foundation; Education Cannot Wait: The UN Global Fund for Education in Emergencies; Extinction Rebellion (XR) Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB); Focus 2030; Friends of the Global Fund Europe; GAIN; Gender and Economic Research Center; Germanwatch; Glasgow Actions Team; Global Alliance for a Green New Deal; Global Education and Leadership Foundation (Values 20 India); The Global Fund; Global Health Advocates; the Global Kid; Global Nation; Green Republic Farms; Hungry for Action; IEC Global Impact Fund; International Climate Change Development Initiative; International Climate Financing WG; International Fund for Agricultural Development; JA Africa; Jane Goodall Institute France; Jara; Lagos Food Bank; LEAP Africa; Loss and Damage Youth Coalition; Malala Fund; Marafiki United Green Youths Initiative; Millennials Movement; Moody’s; The ONE Campaign; ONG Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement (JVE); Only One; OurCause; OWIT Brussels – Organization of Women in Trade;; Plastic Punch; Power to Girls Foundation; Primavera Zur; Project Everyone; Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE); Re:Wild; Save the Children; SDG2 Advocacy Hub; Shamba Centre for Food and Climate; Sharing Strategies; She Leads Climate Action; Stage For Change; Strategic Youth Network for Development; Sungulo Comm NPC; Support Humanity Cameroon (SUHUCAM); Sustainable Development Solutions Network; Sustainability and Climate Podcast; UN Joint SDG Fund; United Nations Foundation; Uniting To Combat NTDs; Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI); and Women At Risk International Foundation.