photo credit: Ramon Haindl for Global Citizen

On Thursday, July 6, as leaders held final negotiations ahead of the 12th G20 summit in Hamburg, Global Citizen Festival Hamburg took place. More than 11,000 Global Citizens, world and business leaders, non-profit organizations, and socially conscious artists united to rally historic momentum for the world’s poorest at this year’s G20 summit — a collection of major economies that make up 85% of the globe’s GDP.

With people gathering to express their collective frustration in protests across the city, Global Citizen Festival Hamburg was held at a critical time of increasing isolationism and lackluster support for the worldwide agreement made two years ago to end extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizen Festival Hamburg achieved concrete commitments from leaders across the world toward some of the greatest global issues of our time, including the education deficit, global health security, gender equality and the refugee crisis. But it was reiterated throughout the night by leaders from the political, private and social impact spheres how much more needs to be done.

Ahead of the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Global Citizens in Germany and around the world took 750,904 actions over six months that:

— Secured 21 commitments and 9 announcements from world leaders and businesses.

12 calls to action on the festival stage demanding world leaders step up

— Saw Argentina, the host of next year’s G20 summit declaring that tackling poverty, specifically education and health, will be on the agenda in 2018.

Together, these commitments and announcements are worth $706 million, and are set to reach more than 113 million people by 2030. Global Citizens will continue to use these commitments to hold governments and businesses accountable to deliver on their promises in the years to come, as part of their process of systematically and transparently reviewing progress of commitments and announcements made through campaigns and events.


FOREIGN AID: Representatives from all four major German political parties — including the leader of the Social Democratic Party Martin Schulz — pledged support for maintaining the Official Development Assistance budget at UN target level of  0.7% of gross national income.

FOOD AND HUNGER: Executive Director of the UN World Food Program David Beasley called on world leaders to act amidst acute famine crisis that sees 20 million on the brink of starvation.

YAZIDI JUSTICE: UN Goodwill ambassador and Yazidi genocide survivor Nadia Murad urged the international community to investigate and prosecute the genocide and war crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidi people.


GENDER EQUALITY: Two major victories for women’s health and women’s economic empowerment were announced on the stage, totaling over $472 million (USD). Norway, Belgium, Netherlands and foundations committed over $172 million (USD) towards the She Decides movement to plug the gap left by the Global Gag Rule. IBM, Pfizer and Intel committed to source $300 million (USD) through their supply chains from women-owned businesses.  

EDUCATION FOR ALL: The President of Argentina Mauricio Macri and host of next year’s G20, promises unprecedented inclusion of education for the G20 in 2018.  

POLIO ERADICATION: After several years of campaigning and 74,317 actions taken in the past 6 months by Global Citizens, Canada, Australia and the EU reaffirmed three commitments on the festival stage towards polio eradication that totaled $151 million (USD).





In response to 39,951 actions taken by Global Citizens and a five month Global Citizen campaign in support of the She Decides global movement to promote, provide, protect and enhance the fundamental rights of every girl and woman - especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), Norway,Netherlands, Belgium, the Ribbink van den Hoek Family Foundation and the Brook Foundation pledged over €155 Million in funding towards women’s health and SRHR.  These commitments will allow recipient organizations to react flexibly and plan strategically in uncertain times for funding of women’s health issues.

—Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg committed $85 million (USD) towards women’s and girls’ health.

— Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of The Netherlands announced a €15 million contribution towards organizations affected by global gag rule.

— Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, announced another €64 million over 4 years in core funding; which breaks down as UNFPA (€36m), UNAIDS (€12m) and UN WOMEN (€16m).

— The Brook Foundation committed €50,000 to She Decides and the Ribbink van den Hoek Family Foundation committed another €25,000 towards She Decides.

The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, also made a strong statement of support for gender equality and female empowerment across the globe as a core part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, while underlining his government's commitment to the She Decides initiative.

“I as Prime Minister, hereby assure, right here right now— girls and women’s rights, their sexual and reproductive health, female empowerment and gender equality are top priority issues for Luxembourg that must never be questioned. Every woman and every girl has the right to family planning. The right to adequate and quality health care including sexual and reproductive health and it’s always her right to decide: She Decides. Thank you, Global Citizens, for taking action for women and girls around the globe.” Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Kenyan health rights activist, Brenda Mbaja, called on G20 leaders to step up and protect women’s reproductive rights at a time when they are being threatened.

“G20 leaders, the time is NOW. Reproductive health rights must be treated for what they are: Human Rights!” Brenda Mbaja, activist


WECONNECT INTERNATIONAL: After over 12,000 Global Citizens took action, Intel, IBM, and Pfizer each committed to source $100 million through their supply chains from women-owned businesses, especially in developing countries, over the next three years. This $300 million commitment will be delivered through our partners at WeConnect International and is a critical stepping stone towards achieving gender equality in a world where women-owned businesses currently earn less than 1% of the money spent on vendors by large corporations and governments.  

“Diversity and inclusion are critical underpinnings to our constantly evolving culture at Intel. They accelerate our ability to consistently innovate and drive the business forward. Supplier diversity adds tremendously to our competitive advantage while stimulating growth in a global marketplace.  Intel is proud to partner with WEConnect International and the Global Citizen commitment to grow our sourcing from women-owned businesses and accelerate diversity and inclusion inside Intel across the entire ecosystem.”Barbara Whye, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Intel

25% BY 2025: Over 17,000 Global Citizens took action in the run up to the Hamburg Festival to remind G20 leaders to uphold their commitment made at the 2014 summit to reduce the gender labor participation gap by 25% by the year 2025.  The recommendation was included in the Women20 group’s Communique which was handed over to Chancellor Merkel, the leader of this year’s G20 host country. After the Chancellor outlined this week that women’s economic empowerment will be an important theme of this year’s summit, we wait to see if it is included in the official G20 communique.

YAZIDI WAR CRIMES: During Global Citizen’s G20 campaign, 28,000 actions have been taken to achieve justice for the Yazidi community. UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking and Yazidi genocide survivor Nadia Murad, Global Citizen Ambassador and advocate for mental health of refugees Demi Lovato, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Syrian refugee Muzoon Almellehan, raised the importance of basic mental health, education and rights for refugees.  Nadia Murad used the stage to demand the international community to #LeveltheLaw and refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and establish a Commission of Inquiry into the war crimes committed against the Yazidi.

“We all need to rise to Level the Law - for justice and humanity. And already, over 100,000 Global Citizens have taken action and supported my plea. I urge the international community and UN Security Council to refer these crimes to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. I also call on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, to set up a Commission of Inquiry and collect evidence on ISIS war crimes against the Yazidi people.”— Nadia Murad



After 6 months of campaigning and over 130,000 actions taken by Global Citizens, education is receiving focus from G20 leaders to fix a crisis that sees 263 million children out of school today.  Yet, as was expressed by world leaders on the stage, much more needs to be done to ensure ambitious and concrete commitments towards the three complementary financing mechanisms that are vital to achieving quality education for all by 2030: Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait and the International Financing Facility for Education.

ARGENTINA: President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri—the host country of next year’s G20—  in response to actions of global citizens, reaffirmed that education will be a signature of his G20 and pledged to work with Global Citizen to rally support for education initiatives, such as the Global Partnership for Education.

“Argentina is in a new stage. We are setting the foundations for sustainable growth to achieve our main aim of reducing poverty. And we are committed to being a part of the solution to the world’s challenges. In our G20 presidency we will bring together political and businesses leaders, civil society and organizations such as Global Citizen towards these goals in education. All of our futures depend on this!”— President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri

NORWAY: Prime Minister Erna Solberg, reinstated her commitment to education and declared that Norway would invest more in education through the three financing mechanisms to achieve education for all.

“We must invest in young people around the world. A free, quality education is the right of every youth and child. We must reach Global Goal 4. If not, we fail not only you – but also future generations… But more resources are needed. So, Norway will invest more in education through: The Global Partnership for Education, The International Financing Facility for Education, and Education Cannot Wait.” — Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg

GORDON BROWN: UN Special Envoy and Chair of the Education Commission, Gordon Brown, called G20 country leaders to increase their funding for education.

“So let us send the message to the G20: Education Cannot Wait; fund schools for refugee children so that they have hope; finance the Global Partnership for Education so they can help poor countries prosper; and create, as Shakira has just said, the new International Financing Facility for Education. So that by investing 10 billion more a year we can, for the first time, be the first generation in history where not just some children, but all children--every single child in the world--is out of exploitation and in education. Let’s make that happen. Thank you.”— UN Special Envoy and Chair of the Education Commission, Gordon Brown

GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR EDUCATION: Chair of Global Partnership for Education Julia Gillardoutlined GPE’s 2018 replenishment campaign to raise  of $3.1 billion to support their 2018-2020 strategy to provide quality education to millions more children. In support of this effort, over the last six months, Global Citizens took 31,381 actions to urge G20 country donors to meet GPE’s funding goal. Gillard,called on G20 countries to significantly increase their commitments and announced that in 2017, 800 Malawian schools will benefit from a GPE grant of $45m.

“The Partnership wants to raise $3.1 billion between 2018 and 2020 and we are asking donors to significantly increase their commitments. With the support of Global Citizens who have already taken X actions we can make sure that happens in the next 6 months!...Tomorrow, over 20 of the world’s most powerful leaders meet to discuss the future of our planet. So we ask all of you to join our call to Germany and other G20 countries now!”— Former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of GPE Julia Gillard

AUSTRALIA: After over 60,000 actions were taken by Global Citizens, Australia committed $10 million (AUD) to the Education Cannot Wait fund to ensure children in emergencies receive an education.

“Tonight, we celebrate that the Australian government has responded to the calls of Global Citizens and is committing ten million dollars to Education Cannot Wait.Over the last year, Global Citizens like you have taken over 200,000 actions to invest in education in emergencies. We are louder together.”— Syrian refugee, UN Goodwill Ambassador and activist, Muzoon Almellehan

HAMBURG UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCE: More than 7,000 emails were sent by Global Citizens to universities to ensure young adults currently living as refugees received a university level education. The Hamburg University of Applied Science (HAW Hamburg) reported that it has secured funding of around €900,000 and found committed partners to offer refugees preparatory measures for university studies, academic support, and multilingual tutorials.  

MALAWI: Following a six month campaign that included on the ground and advocacy level work to drive domestic resource mobilization from developing countries for education, and over 4,000 calls made by Global Citizens, Education Minister Emmanuel Fabiano announced that as of July this year Malawi will increase the the proportion of the country’s budget spent on education by 1% annually, which in the first year equates to $17.85 million (USD). The Minister also announced the ambition to increase it 20% in the coming years. The Education Minister of one of the world’s poorest countries also called for other African leaders to do the same.

HP COMMITS $20 MILLION: the leading international technology organization and partner of Global Citizen announced their contribution of  $20 million (USD) in funding contributions, technology, training, research and development. HP anticipates that the commitment will enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025.

SHAKIRA: With the private sector, universities and developing countries making concrete pledges towards education, the international star and Global Citizen advocate called on young people to take action via the Global Citizen platform to ensure the Education Commission’s recommendations were delivered to ensure Sustainable Development Goal 4 is achieved.

“We should tell our leaders what issues are crucial to us so they can make them priorities. This weekend they’re here in Hamburg—so let’s tell all the leaders at the G20 that we want nothing less than EVERY kid in school, receiving a quality education that will prepare them to be the next Global Citizen—and that we won’t settle for anything less.”— Shakira



POLIO: following extensive long-term campaigning and 74,317 actions taken by Global Citizens in the past six months, Global Citizens secured new commitments towards polio eradication that were announced at the Rotary Conference in Atlanta in June, and were recommitted on the Global Citizen Hamburg Festival stage. World leaders, including Prime Minister Trudeau — on stage alongside Global Citizen youth advocate Sufi Mujghan — recommitted their governments’ contributions to eradication in front of 11,000 Global Citizens, totaling $152 million (USD) towards the Global Polio Eradication Initiative:

CANADAcommitted $100 Million (CAD) 

“Focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to assure that we lift people out of poverty….Women often don’t have the same access to health services which we need to work to ensure equal access. Canada has committed 100m toward polio and it will be women who are trained in their communities to make sure that every child is reached.” — Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

AUSTRALIAcommitted $18 Million (AUD)

“The Australian government is providing a further 18 million dollars over 2 years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. This new commitment takes Australia’s total funding to polio eradication since 2011 to 104 million dollars.”Australian Foreign Minister, the Hon. Julie Bishop

EUROPEAN COMMISSION committed €55 million (EUR)

“Almost 1,500 of you helped to call for the funding needed to ensure a polio free future and we heard your message loud and clear. Last month I announced that the European Commission will be giving an additional 55 million Euros, on top of the 200 million Euros we have already given to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.” —European Commissioner, Neven Mimica

PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS: In our increasingly connected, populated and urbanized world, we are more at risk than ever to a global epidemic. The last outbreak of Ebola took the lives of 11,000 people— we must be ready for another. Which is why over 37,000 Global Citizens took action on the issue in the run up to Global Citizen Festival Hamburg.

— JOHNSON & JOHNSON: pledged to maintain a stockpile of 2 million Ebola vaccines, to be deployed at any moment by implementing partner World Health Organization, to those countries and people who need it the most.

WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Following 6,627 Global Citizens who took action on this issue, Dr Tedros, the recently appointed Director-General of World Health Organization, affirmed he had heard their collective cry. The Director-General also underlined the importance of universal health coverage for a world where no one is left behind, and urged Global Citizens to keep calling on G20 leaders to make health for all a reality.

“Global Citizens, you have sent me thousands of tweets to prioritize diseases like tuberculosis that hit hardest the world’s poorest. I have heard you and I am with you. But I need your help to reach the goal of Health For All. Together we can create a world in which all people can lead healthy and productive lives, regardless of who they are or where they live. This means more children reaching adulthood, communities living disease free, and all countries better prepared for emergencies or disasters. Please keep taking action and calling on G20 leaders to achieve universal health coverage!” Dr Tedros Adhanom, WHO Director-General



NGOs CALL OUT G20 LEADERS FOR INACTION: Over 92,000 actions have been taken by Global Citizens on the urgent issue of hunger and malnutrition amidst a crisis where 20 million are on brink of starvation. And yet according to Oxfam’s Fair Share Analysis, key G20 countries have failed to contribute enough towards food and nutrition and meet the $4.9 billion need declared by the UN. World leaders and NGO heads on the festival stage called out the G20 for failing to deliver development aid to avoid another crisis in the future like the one we face today.

“Tomorrow, the world’s leaders gather here in Hamburg. We must help these leaders summon the will to respond to this crisis, to save our brothers and sisters in Northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. We need prayers and we need support and yes, we need more money to save families, men, women, boys and girls.” Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme,David Beasley

“This is the scale, the urgency, and the absolute tragedy of this crisis. But there is hope. It’s not too late. By coming together to demand more from the G20. By standing together, with partners like the World Food Program, MasterCard and Global Citizen. And by working together on the ground. We can make a difference.Save the Children CEO, Helle Thorning-Schmidt

100 MILLION MEALS FROM MASTERCARD: Mastercard announced their commitment to provide 100 million meals, which will reach hundreds of thousands of the over 16 million children whom the World Food Programme (WFP) feeds through its school meals programme every year. Through their partnership with WFP, this new commitment will see the meals distributed globally where the need is greatest and is aimed at ending the cycle of poverty and hunger.

"The Global Citizen concert provides a valuable outlet to make partnership announcements like the one we're making with Mastercard this year; it allows us all to share inspiring work that will get us that much closer to zero hunger." - David Beasley Executive Director of the UN World Food Program



GLOBAL INVESTMENT FUND FOR WATER: Following 8,583 actions by Global Citizens, CEO of the UK’s largest Co-op, Steve Murrells announced that the Co-op will give one cent per every litre from all branded water it sells across its 2,600 stores in the UK to contribute to the initiative. This amount totals to over $1 million per year, for a minimum of 13 years and equating to $13 million by 2030. Steve Murrells also called upon businesses to join him to reach the fund’s target of $100 million a year.

We’ve raised over 9 million dollars and changed the lives of 1.5million people in Africa in the last ten years. And today, I’m proud to announce the Co-op will be giving over $1 million a year to the Global Investment Fund for Water. But we need other businesses to join us in order to reach our goal of $100 million a year for the fund. Everyone, go to GLOBAL CITIZEN DOT ORG and take action to end water poverty. —  Steve Murrells, CEO of Co-op

MINISTER TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: Jeff Radebe endorsed the Global Investment Fund for Water on the stage, thanking Global Citizens for their actions on the issue.

“This is why today, in response to over 8,500 actions taken by Global Citizens, South Africa pledges through President Jacob Zuma’s leadership on the High-level Panel on Water to support the Global Investment Fund for Water. The Global Investment Fund for Water wants to work in partnership with governments, as well as those who make and sell bottled water all over the world to create an annual fund for clean water projects worth $100 million a year. I invite all the nations in the world to join us in this vital endeavour.”—  Jeff Radebe, Minister in the South African Presidency

BURUNDI WATER CRISIS: Beyoncé's BeyGood4Burundi was announced to help solve the water crisis in Burundi, East Africa. In partnership with UNICEF, BeyGood4Burundi will help bring clean, safe water to nearly half a million people in the most vulnerable districts in the heart of Africa with an emphasis on children, girls and women who are disproportionately affected by the water crisis in Burundi.  

"BeyGood4Burundi is Beyoncé's multi year commitment in partnership with UNICEF to support the most vulnerable population of Burundi with access to safe clean water. When we give one child the basic human right of water, we give that child TIME to LIVE and fulfill his or her DREAMS and rewrite the HISTORY of Burundi."— Ivy McGregor



Representatives from major German parties— including the leader of the Social Democratic Party Martin Schulz — pledge bipartisan support for 0.7% ODA budget.

“Germany needs to be a leader in the implementation of the SDGs. We support the goal to spend at least 0.7% of GNI for public foreign aid. I wish that the G20 Summit will send a clear message for more peace and justice in the world.”— Chairman of the SDP party, Martin Schulz


CALIFORNIA Governor of Cailfornia, Jerry Brown announced that California is hosting a summit to address the critical issue of climate change in San Francisco in 2018.

“It’s up to you and it’s up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change. That’s why we’re having the ‘Climate Action Summit’ in San Francisco in September 2018. Come join us, entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors, students. We need people that represent the whole world, because this is about the whole world and the people that live here. We have to do something and we can do it. President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act it’s time to join together and that’s why at this ‘Climate Action Summit’ we’re going to get it done.”

Indian scholar, environmental activist and anti-globalization author Vandana Shiva, called on G20 leaders to fulfill their responsibilities based on the Paris agreement and the UN principles of the polluter must pay.

“We call on the G20 to support the solutions to climate change that are growing from the ground up for example in the form of organic farming which produces more food and can address both hunger and climate change. In the Soil lies the solutions of the problems that Oil has created.” — Vandana Shiva


PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD BANK: Jim Yong Kim called upon Global Citizens to demand action from their leaders.

“We have more tools than ever to end poverty: we can move money and knowledge to developing countries; prevent stunting; invest in education; support women entrepreneurs. We can give everyone a chance for a better life. We just need the will. We need all of you to keep raising your voices. Demand more from your leaders. Hold us accountable to make the world more just. One word defines this moment: possibilities. It’s possible to end extreme poverty by 2030.”Jim Kim President of the World Bank

PRESIDENT OF EU COMMISSION: President Jean-Claude Juncker declared in a video message to Global Citizens that he will submit Global Citizens’ concerns at the G20 summit.

“We want policies that builds bridges instead of walls. We advocate for policies that strive together for better solutions. That is why I will give a voice to your concerns at the G20 summit. With this in mind, I wish all of us good luck and end with the famous words by Pink Floyd ‘Together we stand, divided we fall’.”— President of European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker


Demand Equity

Global Citizen Festival Hamburg: $706M of Commitments, Set to Reach 113M Lives

By Katie Dallas