On Thursday, September 22, renowned artists, world leaders and influencers joined together at Global Citizen: The World on Stage to make major policy commitments to support refugees, recognize the Yazidi genocide, eradicate polio, remove barriers to girls’ education, and provide clean water for all ahead of the 2016 Global Citizen Festival.
Paul Simon presented the inaugural George Harrison Global Citizen Award to the late George Harrison posthumously, in honor of his decades of tireless advocacy on behalf of the world’s poor. Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, and son, Dhani Harrison, accepted the award on his behalf.
Curated by Tom Morello (Prophets of Rage) and Jon Batiste (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), the evening of advocacy and impact included a surprise performance of “Here Comes the Sun” from Paul Simon, in addition to performances by Tom Morello, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Kesha, Regina Spektor, Warren Haynes, Aloe Blacc & Maya Jupiter, and the Kenyan Boys Choir. Speakers included Cecily Strong, Forest Whitaker, Darren Criss, Taryn Manning, Pete Wentz, and more.
Global Citizen: The World on Stage highlighted the impact achieved by millions of Global Citizens campaigning over 2016, and provided an additional, global platform for world leaders to make major policy commitments toward ending extreme poverty. Commitments included:
- Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo committed to support bringing the case of the Yazidi genocide to the International Criminal Court, to hold those who commit genocide responsible for their horrific actions.
- Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop pledged to join the United Kingdom and Global Citizen and sign the international statement of action for marginalized girls, as well as donate $10 million to remove barriers to girls’ education and ensure girls are able to stay in school through their secondary years and in times of crisis.
- Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat promised to contribute $10,000 per year, for the next three years, to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
- The Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte committed to donate $50 million to the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and continue working towards their goal of providing sanitation to 50 million people by 2030.
- Hewlett Packard dedicated more than $1 million to help refugees, alleviate poverty, and improve the lives of over 100,000 people in the coming year.
- Microsoft pledged to provide greater broadband, communication, job training, and technological support to refugees in need, in addition to delivering counseling and psychosocial support for 10,000 refugees.
- Western Union and The Western Union Foundation pledged $750,000 to the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, founded by Forest Whitaker, to support life skills and vocational training for refugees in Uganda over the next three years.
- Johnson & Johnson, UPS, and Walmart joined together to each commit $100 million to increase spending and sourcing with women-owned businesses over the next three years.
Additionally, the World Bank announced that it had already delivered over $6 billion dollars of its commitment to invest $15 billion dollars toward sanitation and water solutions worldwide. The existing investment provides 100 million people with access to clean water and good sanitation.
On Saturday, at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival, policymakers, international organizations, and private companies will announce additional vital commitments set to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.
Proud core partners of Global Citizen: The World on Stage 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.
About Global Citizen:
Global Citizen is a social action platform for the global generation who are passionate about learning and taking action on the world’s biggest issues. Global Citizen works in partnership with and supports some of the most effective organizations working to achieve the Global Goals and end extreme poverty. Committed to providing the most interesting stories, effective actions and powerful campaigns, Global Citizen aims to reach and recruit the largest possible number of people who care about global issues.
About the George Harrison Global Citizen Award:
The George Harrison Global Citizen Award is an annual honor to be given to an artist who has demonstrated excellence in music and activism. The inaugural award was awarded to George Harrison for his decades long commitment to philanthropy.