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Global Citizen successfully held world leaders to account in their commitment to achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.In response to over 1.3m actions and campaigning efforts by Global Citizens, world leaders made new commitments, delivered on previous pledges, and announced new campaigns toward ending extreme poverty. 44 commitments from policymakers set to affect 199 million lives. 

• Performances by Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Demi Lovato, Major Lazer, Metallica, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Usher, Ellie Goulding, Yandel, and Yusuf / Cat Stevens.

• Hosts included Chelsea Handler, Deborra-lee & Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, and Salma Hayek Pinault.

 On Saturday, September 24, the 2016 Global Citizen Festival marked its fifth year on the Great Lawn of New York’s Central Park.World and business leaders, non-profit organizations, socially conscious artists, and thousands of Global Citizens united to further the world’s progress toward achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.   The Festival featured performances by Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Demi Lovato, Major Lazer, Metallica, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Usher, Ellie Goulding, Yandel, and Yusuf / Cat Stevens. Approximately 60,000 Global Citizens attended and millions watched live through broadcast partners MSNBC and YouTube. 

Ahead of the 2016 Global Citizen Festival, Global Citizens around the world took more than 1.3 million actions over two months that:

• Secured 14 new commitments and 15 announcements from world leaders.

• Ensured accountability and delivery of 6 commitments made in the past on Global Citizen platforms.

• Pushed forward 9 campaigns, which will further action from world leaders to keep their promises to Global Citizen.

Together, these commitments and announcements are worth $1.9 billion, and are set to reach 199 million people, and put the world on track to achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Global Citizens will continue to use these commitments to hold governments and businesses accountable to deliver on their promises in the years to come.


• SANITATION: After Global Citizens took 60,000 actions, the Netherlandscommitted $350 million over 3 years to reach 14.9 million people. This funding will enable them to deliver on the commitment they made to Global Citizens in 2015 to improve sanitation for 50 million people, and water for 30 million people by 2030.

• WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: UPS, Walmart and Johnson & Johnson each committed to purchase $100 million from women owned businesses over the next three years. This total $300 million commitment is set to affect 240,000 lives by 2019, follows 30,000 actions by Global Citizens, and will be delivered through our partners at WeConnect International.

• EDUCATION: Global Citizens took 350,000 actions, achieving $40 million in new financial commitments from key donor countries. Canada committed $20 million and Denmark committed $11 million for Education Cannot Wait fund, supporting education for children in emergency and conflict areas.Australia committed $10 million to further girls education in the Asia-Pacific region. 


• SANITATION: The World Bank announced they have disbursed $6 billion of the $15 billion that was committed at Global Citizen Festival 2014 so far, reaching 100 million lives to date. This follows ongoing campaigning by Global Citizen staff and more than 50,000 actions by Global Citizens in 2016, calling on the World Bank to deliver on their commitment.

• EDUCATION: Queen Rania of Jordan announced on behalf of UNICEF that the Education Cannot Wait fund’s first disbursal of $42 million will be made in 2017, set to reach 1.5 million children over 2 years.

• ACHIEVING GLOBAL GOALS: World Bank President Jim Kim committed to raise at least $52 billion for their International Development Association (IDA) replenishment fund before the end of 2016. This will fulfil their previous commitment to lift 100 million people out of extreme poverty, made at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival.


• POLIO: The world is 99.9 percent of the way to eradicating polio, with only 26 cases reported in 2016. To end the disease forever, the world needs to mobilize at least an additional $1.5 billion. Global Citizens took 134,470 actions on this issue in the run up to the Festival, securing commitments fromLuxembourg and Malta, and launching a call to action for the United Kingdom and Canada to increase their commitments.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded via special video message with Usher. Global Citizens will continue to call on him to match his words with real dollar figures:


“Lately my office has been flooded with phone calls and tweets from many of you. Thanks Rihanna! I've heard your voices loud and clear on a whole range of issues – from supporting the eradication of polio, to ensuring every girl everywhere has the chance to go to school. Canada has long supported efforts to fight polio, which is now 99.9 percent eliminated. And we will be a strong partner through to the end. Thank you for keeping these issues on our global agenda. Keep calling, keep tweeting, keep lighting up our switchboards. We're listening, and we're taking action. You've shown to the world that change starts with you. Together, we will end it for good.” — Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

• EDUCATION: The 2016 Global Citizen Festival saw world leaders outline ambitious plans for all children to receive a quality education, particularly girls and children in emergencies . After Global Citizens took 356,054 actions,The Global Partnership for Education launched a campaign to grow their investment in quality education to a $2 billion per year replenishment effort by 2020. To kickstart this renewed focus on education, the 2016 Global Citizen Festival saw 15 commitments and announcements valued at $105 million, that will reach 271,000 people. 

In five short years, the Global Citizen Festival has grown into the largest, most visible moment of a year-long movement of engaged Global Citizens working to influence world leaders and decision makers to enact policy changes and commit significant resources to help solve the world’s biggest challenges. 

Additionally, the Festival and its action-based model was taken to Canada for the first time on Saturday, September 16 and the Global Citizen Festival India will be held on Saturday, November 19 in Mumbai, India.

Proud core partners of the 2016 Global Citizen Festival include: presenting partner GUCCI and CHIME FOR CHANGE, MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal, Live Nation, Caterpillar, Johnson & Johnson, Google’s Made with Code, YouTube, Citi, Clear Channel Outdoor, iHeartMedia, Alex and Ani, and NYC Parks. Associate partners this year include Kirkland & Ellis, Doppler Labs and Riot House.



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Feature Issue 2017

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