Believe It or Not, 640 Million People Could Be out of Poverty by 2030
Move over, sweet 16—it’s all about the number 15 today. In this new video from the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stands with a group of 15-year-olds to announce the launch of Action/2015, a global movement pulling together more than 1,000 organizations with one major warning: Nearly 1 billion additional people will face extreme poverty in 15 years if leaders don’t take immediate legislative action around poverty, gender inequality, and climate change.
These key issues will be on the table at the U.N. Special Summit on Sustainable Development in September and the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris in December. According to the Action/2015 coalition, 640 million people could be lifted out of extreme poverty—which is defined by living on less than $1.25 per day—by 2030 if policy is addressed and implemented this year.
Ban calls on leaders to adapt ambitious, sustainable development goals moving forward. He emphasizes that “since these young people were born, millions of people have risen out of poverty” as a result of the U.N.’s previous Millennium Development Goals, which were in effect from 2000 to 2015 and tackled issues ranging from reducing infant mortality to universal primary education.
The teenagers in the video urge viewers to take action on an individual level by using energy efficiently, supporting sustainable products, and reducing waste. And they're not alone—dozens of global dignitaries and celebrities, including Malala Yousafzai and Ben Affleck, are adding their voices to the movement.
“We want to transform all lives,” Ban said. “We want to build inclusive, resilient, peaceful, and prosperous societies. We want to ensure human dignity for all.”