Today, 193 world leaders will commit to the 17 goals – which include zero hunger, climate action and affordable and clean energy – in an attempt to end poverty, reduce inequality and injustice and fix climate change by 2030.
"The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people," the initiative's website says.
The UN has given a mandate to campaign group Project Everyone, founded by British film director Richard Curtis – who was also involved with Live 8 in 2008 – to promote the goals. Alongside Curtis, Project Everyone's staff includes former UK government adviser Kate Garvey, ex-BBC head of marketing Gail Gallie and executive adviser Amanda Mackenzie.
Project Everyone in turn appointed Freuds as its global PR agency in May, having previously worked together around the World Economic Forum in Davos at the start of the year. Various other agencies appointed have been appointed in other regions over the past 18 months:
- Africa: Burson-Marsteller
- Asia: Love Frankie
- South East Asia: Georgina Mallory
- Australia: Global Poverty Project
- Brazil: Fernanda Thompson and Mandalah
- China: Kleinsun Gallery (Project Everyone is also working with the United Nations Development Programme in the country)
- Germany: The One Campaign
- India: Sterling Communications
- Russia: Ketchum
Hannah Pawlby, the director at Freuds leading the Global Goals activity, told PRWeek that while Freuds' role was global, individual regional agencies did have "the autonomy to create their own campaigns". She also said that after the goals were agreed to in the UN today, the aim was for the various campaigns to reach seven billion people – i.e. the entire global population – through activities across the next seven days, starting Saturday.
These include the Dizzy Goals campaign on YouTube, plus a short film directed by Curtis starring athlete Usain Bolt entitled No Point Going Half Way; a seven-day pop-up radio station Radio Everyone; a text message campaign enabled by mobile phone operators; an interfaith prayer, and a concert in New York's Central Park today, directed by Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin.
Pawlby said there would be follow-up events every year: "The idea is to create some sort of moment every year when progress against the goals is looked at, so leaders can’t just sign them and then they get forgotten. Richard thought if you could make these goals more famous, then they are more likely to be followed."
Natasha Mudhar, CEO and MD of Sterling, said: "We are delighted to exclusively manage the Global Goals campaign in India and to help promote the Global Goals for sustainable development to India’s 1.2 billion population. The campaign has given the company an amazing opportunity to pull in all of our relationships – from celebrity, to corporate, government and media – to fulfil this ambition."