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Global Problems Can be Solved


Big Issues Make the Big Screen in Times Square

New York, NY —   September 20, 2010

 As world leaders convene in New York this September for a high-level summit to advance the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Foundation unveiled a high-impact public service announcement about the most critical issues facing the world today. Throughout September a brand-new video about the MDGs is airing twelve times every hour on the Toshiba Vision screen in the heart of the city.

During a launch event, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Assistant Secretary-General Sigrid Kaag, and the UN Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Rick Parnell unveiled the PSA inviting people to get involved to solve global problems — marking the first time that the work of the UN is featured prominently in this iconic space.

“The United Nations is grateful to Toshiba for its willingness to provide its Toshiba Vision screen to help raise awareness about the most pressing global challenges in one of the main crossroads of the world,” said UNDP Assistant Administrator Sigrid Kaag. “Only by working together with world leaders, the private sector, and individuals, can we make real progress towards ending poverty and hunger, improving the health of mothers and children, fighting preventable diseases, and protecting the environment.”

The MDGs are eight goals that all 192 United Nations member-states have agreed to help achieve. They offer a road map to end poverty and its root causes and tackle the biggest problems facing the world today — these include global poverty, women’s and children’s health, hunger, and education. The Review Summit taking place September 20-24, 2010, marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the MDGs, where President Barack Obama and other world leaders, will deliver their plan to advance progress in reaching these goals.

“The MDGs are a to-do list for the UN, world leaders, and citizens alike,” said Rick Parnell of the UN Foundation. “By placing this important message on the big screen in Times Square, we hope everyone will see that they too can help the UN create a better world.  We want people to share the urgent call to action in their respective town squares across the U.S. and the world.”

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-television host-actress Kelly Rowland phones into the launch, saying, “We all can send the message to world leaders that we care about these goals and want to make a difference.”  Rowland joined the call to action by inviting her friends and fans to get involved. “You don’t have to be a celebrity or a world leader or a billionaire to make a difference. Everyone can do something today to make sure that women get an education, children are born with health and safety and families can live without the threat of disease.”

The 30-second PSA was produced by GOOD in partnership with the UN Foundation and Millennium Promise. It focuses on the eight MDGs: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development. Three additional PSAs created by the UN Foundation are airing on the Toshiba Vision screen, focusing on how individuals can help the UN advance the MDGs by empowering and educating girls, ending preventable childhood diseases, and protecting the environment. 

The Millennium Development Goals are a priority list not only for the United Nations, but for all people with global perspective. But you don’t have to be a world leader or a billionaire to make an impact. Everyone can be part of the solution to make the world a better place.