United Nations, UNICEF and Smurfs Team Up to celebrate International Day of Happiness
Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign inspires support for Sustainable Development Goals
New York, New York — March 18, 2017
Voice actors from the upcoming animated movie Smurfs: The Lost Village today joined officials from the United Nations, UNICEF and United Nations Foundation at the world body’s headquarters in New York to celebrate International Day of Happiness with a campaign promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign is designed to encourage young people everywhere to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders in 2015 to help make the world more peaceful, equitable and healthy.
As part of the celebrations, Team Smurfs recognized three young advocates -- Karan Jerath (20), Sarina Divan (17), and Noor Samee (17) -- for their actions to promote the Goals.
Jerath, a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, invented a containment device that could prevent offshore oil spills and ensure the protection of marine life. Divan expanded a UN Foundation girl empowerment initiative at her high school and beyond, and Samee is a UNICEF blogger and advocate on social justice issues and raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The movie’s U.S. stars -- Demi Lovato, Joe Manganiello and Mandy Patinkin -- presented the three young students with a symbolic key to the Smurfs Village in recognition of their work.
“This inspirational campaign highlights the fact that each and every one of us, no matter how young or old, small or big, can make our world a better and happier place,” said Cristina Gallach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. “We are grateful to creative partners like Sony Pictures and Team Smurfs for their spirit of collaboration in helping the UN reach diverse audiences.”
The Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign culminates on the International Day of Happiness on 20 March, which emphasizes the importance of personal happiness and well-being. The idea is closely linked to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which include decent work for all, access to nutritious food, quality education and health services, and freedom from discrimination.
“Today we have seen how the Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign is giving children and young people a platform to speak out about issues they are passionate about. As we celebrate International Day of Happiness, we hope many more young people are empowered to take action on the Sustainable Development Goals and help achieve a world free from poverty, inequality and injustice,” said Caryl M. Stern, UNICEF US Fund President and CEO.
The actors and UN officials addressed some 1,500 students attending an international Model UN conference in the iconic General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, where they encouraged all participants and the public to join “Team Smurfs”.
The campaign invites the general public to visit SmallSmurfsBigGoals.com to find out how to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and share information, ideas and images on social media.
The actors also premiered a new public service announcement video starring cast members of the film that inspires viewers to join the campaign and champion the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We hope the campaign will help us all think about how our actions impact the planet,” said Demi Lovato, who voices Smurfette in the movie. “Every one of us, even a Small Smurf, can accomplish Big Goals!”
The United Nations Postal Administration closed out the blue carpet event by unveiling a special edition stamp sheet featuring the Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign. The film cast along with the Belgian Ambassador to the United Nations, Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, and United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Management, Stephen Cutts, presented the Small Smurfs Big Goals UN stamps to the press.
Along with the event at the United Nations, other celebrations took place in 16 countries around the world including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, and the UK, to name a few, to help raise awareness for the “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign and the Goals.
On March 20, festivities for the International Day of Happiness will culminate in a special ceremony with the film cast along with United Nations, UNICEF and United Nations Foundation officials where they will help turn the Empire State Building blue to commemorate the occasion.
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About the Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015, UN Member States unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focused on the three interconnected elements of: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. With 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, the Agenda is universal, integrated and transformative and aims to spur actions that will end poverty, reduce inequality and tackle climate change between now and 2030.
About the Partners
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War and is committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. For more information, visit www.un.org
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child in all of its work. Together with its partners, UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information, visit www.unicef.org
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.