Queen Rania, Ban Ki-moon Join International Celebrities to Launch Anti-poverty Campaign

September 26, 2008
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(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – New York) - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson joined other dignitaries and international celebrities to launch a new anti-poverty campaign aimed at mobilizing global citizens to pressure their governments to deliver on their promises of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline.

Speaking at the high profile event, Queen Rania seemed determined on refocusing the global discourse on the MDGs. “From food to clean water to immunizations to education, our progress toward the Millennium Development Goals has given hundreds of millions of people a chance to live a better life,” she said, “but behind these hundreds of millions lie hundreds of millions more – sons and daughters, husbands and wives – who still are struggling just to survive in a world of unparalleled abundance. Right now we are failing to meet more than half of our MDG targets by our 2015 deadline.”

The campaigning website (www.inmyname.com) provides innovative ways for citizens to join the campaign against poverty, connects activists around the world and showcases the extraordinary work being done by ordinary people, in rich and poor countries, to be the generation that ends poverty

In 2000, the United Nations agreed to a set of ambitious goals for cutting poverty and disease and improving health care and education for the world's poor by 2015. But now, halfway through the time period, those Millennium Development Goals have not been met by all countries.

“Half a promise is no promise at all,” said Queen Rania, “Failing to keep our promise to the weak and the vulnerable should stir the deepest emotions of our souls, should inspire our most basic instincts of justice… I want all children to go to school. In my name, I want the air they breathe, the food they eat and the water they drink to be abundant and clean. In my name, I want their mothers to survive childbirth, vaccinate their young and watch their daughters thrive. I want my name to be part of that great generation that embraced a stranger as a neighbor and helped humanity out of poverty… in the name of equality, justice, and peace…  In my name and in your name, let's fulfill the promise of the millennium,” she urged.

The event including the launch of ‘in my name’, a new song by Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am written for the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). African singer Angelique Kidjo and Black Eyed Peas members will.i.am and apl.de.ap performed the new song outside the United Nations, where world leaders are gathered this week.

The song "[Is] calling individuals to realize their power in solving global poverty and ending world hunger," will.i.am sang. "Enforcing the politicians to keep what they promised and picking the world leaders that will lead the world honest."

Other dignitaries, celebrities and activists including Mary Robinson, Ela Bhatt, Rahul Bose, Jeffrey Sachs, Kristin Davis, and Elle Macpherson.  During the event, the attendees all signed their names on a pledge wall outside the UN building.

This campaign action is organized under the umbrella of GCAP together with Oxfam International, Save the Children and Comic Relief, and has garnered the support of various dignitaries and celebrities including Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Annie Lennox, John Legend, Scarlett Johansson, Sergio Mendes, Missy Higgins, Fergie, John Butler, Mel B, Emmanuel Jal, Wyclef Jean, Khalid Abdalla and Mischa Barton.

To watch the launch video and other messages from supporters, please visit:www.YouTube.com/InMyName

For further information, please visit the campaign website (www.inmyname.com)

For all media enquiries please contact:

In New York: Ciara O’Sullivan +19175879591, Nicky Wimble +15033671284 andBen Dempsey +44 7899902886

In the UK and elsewhere: Chloe Irvine +447514941577,

For photographs, please go to inmyname.com/media

B roll of the celebrities involved in inmyname is available on request.