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Why We're Hosting a Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg

Less than two years ago, the world agreed on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development — a global commitment to end poverty, tackle climate change and fight inequalities. But so far governments have not delivered on their promises.

Instead more and more countries have turned inwards whilst open societies and international cooperation are under threat. Human rights and the values we believe in are becoming optional and the poorest and most vulnerable are paying the highest price for this.

Now more than ever we need to stand together and speak up if we want to turn the tide.

The G20 Summit in Hamburg is the pivotal moment in 2017 to send a strong signal in the fight against poverty and inequality. With an accumulated economic power that accounts for 85% of the world's gross domestic product and 80% of global trade, the G20 countries are uniquely placed to mobilize the political will and the financial resources needed to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Read More: Global Citizen Festival Is Heading to Hamburg for the G20 Summit in July

And, for the very time, G20 leaders are acknowledging this. Past G20 summits have been focused just on the global economy, but in 2017, with Germany in the chair, issues of sustainable development have been made a formal part of the agenda.

Moreover, as populist movements rise in some countries, it’s more important than ever to demonstrate that global challenges can only be addressed through international cooperation. Free, open, and diverse societies are best placed to ensure that all people, everywhere are freed from the shackles of poverty and provided opportunity that can create global prosperity, security and stability.

This is why Global Citizen is bringing the Global Citizen Festival to Hamburg this July, and why we will be working with partners to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people in Germany and across the G20.

Specifically, we will be campaigning for leaders to deliver the following:

1. Commitments from all major German political parties to maintain, if not increase, their aid budget after the elections. In just a matter of months, Germans will be heading to the polls for an election. As a major global donor, a driving force in the European Union, and a country that has benefited so much from foreign itself, Germany can and must be a leader to deliver the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which is why we’re calling on each of the major parties represented in Parliament to publicly outline their plans to achieve them.

2. New political and financial commitments from the G20 leaders on the refugee crisis. The world is facing an unprecedented refugee crisis, with more than 65 million people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and disaster. Most of them aren’t in Europe or America — they’re in camps in neighboring countries. These are some of the world’s most vulnerable people, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, simply seeking safety. Global Citizen is calling on G20 countries to increase financial support for countries hosting refugees countries in the developing world to provide basic services, education and employment opportunities for refugees.

3. A leadership announcement in support for the Global Partnership for Education as well as new pledges to fund education in emergencies. Around the world, 61 million children of elementary school age are denied an education and almost 202 million adolescents are without access to junior high or high school. We know that when children are provided with quality education, it results in better health outcomes, increased earning potentials, and more equitable societies. Global Citizen is calling on G20 countries to announce new funding to support two key multilateral efforts to provide quality education - for the Global Partnership for Education who support children in 61 of the poorest countries, and Education Cannot Wait, a UNICEF administered fund to get children in emergencies back into school.

4. Increased investment from the G20 in health and women's empowerment in developing countries to tackle inequality.

Health: The G20 need to invest now in pandemic preparedness and ensure health systems everywhere are equipped to manage the next big outbreak of infectious diseases. We’ve seen in recent years with Zika and Ebola how, in an age of cheap and fast international travel, a disease that breaks out in one part of the world can quickly spread to another. Unless we invest now, WHO estimates that the next big pandemic will not just cost lives - as many as 200 million - but could reduce global GDP by 5-6%.

Women’s Empowerment: Promoting women’s empowerment by removing legal, financial and institutional barriers to economic participation and by creating new professional prospects for women is critical to ensure economic growth serves the needs of everyone. Recent studies have found that eliminating the gap between male and female labor force participation would add up to $28 trillion, or 26 percent, to annual global GDP in 2025 compared with a business-as-usual scenario.  Global Citizen is calling on G20 countries to re-commit to the 2014 Brisbane pledge to reduce the gap in labor force participation rates between women and men by 25% by 2025, and to support this with clear policy and financial commitments, indicators, timelines, and a reporting mechanism.


In these turbulent political times, we do not expect all — or even many — of these commitments to come from the G20 itself. We know that it will take pressure from citizens in Germany and around the world to push individuals leaders to step forward, and declare what their individual country’s commitments are to achieving these goals.

Read More: How Donald Trump's Proposed Cuts to US Foreign Aid Actually Endanger America

That’s why we’re asking Global Citizens to take action, and from March 14th onwards, giving them the opportunity to win tickets to join in Hamburg at the Global Citizen Festival on July 6th, with Herbert Grönemeyer, Coldplay, The Chainsmokers, and Ellie Goulding.

So join us in taking action at www.globalcitizenfestival.de