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Recap: The Pope, politicians and poverty

Flickr: *Bitch Cakes*

Global Citizen gave you a heads up Pope Francis would be in New York the other weekend for the UN SDG Summit. Why was this so exciting you might be wondering? Well, as my colleague Nicki mentioned, Pope Francis is only the 5th Pope to visit the US and his visit for the UN SDG Summit was his first visit to the US.

What was the Pope up to during all the chaos, fun, and major life-changing events that took place the weekend of September 25-27th?

There was His Holiness’s motorcade through Central Park. This was a ticketed event where New York residents could enter to win tickets to watch the motorcade travel through the park from Central Park west. (Hmm, I wonder if the Global Citizen Festival provided inspiration for ticket distribution.) 118,000  New York ticket winners then watched Pope Francis make his way to the UN building over on the east side of Central Park.

recap pope poverty b2.jpgImage: Flickr: Karen Green

While Pope Francis is only the 5th Pope to visit the US, he was not the first pontifical figure to make his way through Central Park. In 1995, Pope John Paul II provided a Mass service in the park.

He gave the opening address to the UN General Assembly to commence the UN SDG Summit, where over 150 world leaders committed to adopt the Global Goals into policy and end poverty by 2030. 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon welcomed him, stating that His Holiness Pope Francis’s:

“visit will inspire the international community to redouble its efforts to achieve human dignity for all through ensuring greater social justice, tolerance and understanding among all of the world’s peoples.”

Pope Francis called for action to be taken on social justice, climate change, and eliminating armed conflict in order to create a more sustainable world according to his speech, which you can find here.

recap-pope-poverty b1.jpgImage: Flickr: Susan Melkisethian

His Holiness also gave homage to those who lost lives in the name of peace and justice in the past 70 years of the UN's existence. 

“I would recall today those who gave their lives for peace and reconciliation among peoples, from Dag Hammarskjöld to the many United Nations officials at every level who have been killed in the course of humanitarian missions, and missions of peace and reconciliation.”

Pope Francis has done an incredible amount to promote peace between countries, and address the root causes of extreme poverty that affect 1.3 billion around the world. And the work he has done to raise awareness on poverty, the Global Goals, and promote peace inspire so many more than the 1.2 billion people who practice Catholicism in the world.

The fact that the Pope has been Pope for two years now and has spent more time visiting developing countries, for example, his visit to slums in Paraguay, raising awareness ignites hope that religions, world leaders, CEOs of companies and all global citizens can unite and accomplish the Global Goals in the next 15 years.

Just as Pope Francis played a major role in loosening tension on US-Cuban relations by writing letters to President Obama and Raúl Castro, you too can help hold world leaders accountable for taking on the Global Goals.  

You can go to TAKE ACTION NOW and Call on President Obama to show global leadership this year in the fight to end all preventable child deaths by 2030.