NEW YORK, NY (AP) -- Hugh Evans cited a new and staggering statistic as the reason why this year's Global Citizen NOW Conference was filled with urgent calls to action.
The CEO of Global Citizen who has been fighting extreme poverty since he turned 14 told The Associated Press climate change, COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and a global credit crisis have erased decades' worth of progress made in improving people's lives.
Evans stated that 'for the first time since my childhood, we are making reverse progress in this issue'. When I was born, in 1983, 52 percent of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. It was 7%. This was approximately 690 millions people. In the last three decades, it has increased by hundreds and millions.
Evans used the Global Citizen NOW two-day conference in New York that ended Friday night to issue a series of calls to actions. Leaders from the world of politics, business, culture, and philanthropy urged Global Citizen supporters to take action on issues that concern them.
Letitia James, New York's Attorney General, said that young people are responsible for all movements in the world.
She said, 'I believe that you all have the passion and compassion to make a change.' I will be there to cheer you on, and lead the way.
Some actions were large, like supporting Global Citizen’s Power Our Planet Initiative, which encourages supporters to demand global financial reform from political leaders and bankers to help accelerate investments to combat climate change.
Emmanuel Macron of France addressed the conference virtually, offering his support to the idea. He said, 'We are all part of the reshaping' and'reinvention'.
JUST Capital announced the creation the Corporate Care Network to improve the health benefits of workers. The nonprofit advises businesses on how to better deploy their investments.
John Legend, the singer-songwriter, challenged his supporters to pledge that they would build systems that would create record-breaking youth participation in 2024 elections.
Legend stated that he wanted a democratic system that was open to everyone and that encouraged our leaders to act in the best interests of their people.
Some actions were more personal. Panelists for a plant-based diet, including Impossible Foods CEO Peter McGuiness, and restaurateur Pinky Colé of the Slutty Vegan Burger chain, asked the audience at the conference to promise that they would eat a plant-based meal every day.
McGuiness said that the first weapon we have to combat climate change is food choice. McGuiness stated that the No.
Global Citizen's Evans stated that even though the organization is still focused on combating extreme poverty, this battle cannot be won unless climate change and gender equality are addressed at the same.
He said: 'We're all connected in some way, whether you want to or not.' What happens on the other side of planet affects you. We can't close our eyes, and say, "OK, I don't care about these issues." No nation can exist in isolation.
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