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Teams to end poverty

The initiative

A global partnership communication and action oriented initiative against

For the first time ever, the world has the wealth, the technology and the know-how to eliminate poverty and social exclusion. Yet, poverty entraps the lives of 1.2 billion people around the globe and kills a child every 3 seconds.

In September 2000, 189 countries met at a UN Summit to reflect on the state of the world's poor. The result was the adoption of eight realistic and time-bound goals designed to halt the scourge of poverty. These are known as the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their overarching aim is to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women including halving the number of the world's poor by 2015. UNDP has been instructed to help achieve these objectives. Therefore, in addition to the direct assistance it provides for developing countries, UNDP has decided to launch a global initiative through 2015 and beyond, and is calling upon individuals, institutions, and private as well as public entities to each do their share of the collective effort required.

The initiative attempts to communicate on a massive scale, in particular by means of advertisements in the press and on television (space offered by the media).

The initiative explains that poverty can be overcome and that everyone can contribute to ending it. It is neither an actual fund-raising campaign nor does it seek to promote specific institutions or people. It is a call for concrete actions in every field and at every level. Its core message is "wherever you live, whoever you are, and whatever you already do, there is always something more you can do to make poverty decline".

All actions matter and make a difference, whether small or big, local or regional, national or international, designed to alleviate the symptoms or to deal with the root causes of poverty. Every person and every entity can decide what to do according to one’s abilities, means and fields of interest or competence.

The advertisements feature celebrities from the world of sports, arts, fashion or business who will be portrayed in teams of two by the world’s greatest professional photographers. The celebrities have decided to get involved in activities to combat poverty and are inviting everyone else to follow suit. Businesses are also being called upon to show the way.

Dozens of celebrities have already agreed to help. The football stars Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo, who decided to help with schooling for young underprivileged children in Albania and Kosovo, set the ball rolling. Omar Sharif and Carla Bruni were the next to feature on the advertisements; they chose to help combat HIV-AIDS. Other "teams" have been formed around Martina Hingis, Jacques Villeneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Sergei Bubka, Jeanne Moreau, Satya, and many others.

The initiative is made possible thanks to an alliance of world-class partners (advertising agency, photographers, movie and TV producers, media) who all donate their services free of charge.

The photographers who have already offered their time and talents to the initiative include Dominique Issermann, Peter Lindbergh, Sarah Moon, Satoshi Saisuki, Christian Moser, Ferdinando Scianna, Javier Vallhonrat, the late Jeanloup Sieff and many others, including Sebastiao Salgado.

The advertising agency responsible for creating the advertisements is the London-based agency Leagas Delaney.

More than 200 media titles, including Il Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Le Monde, Libération, La Tribune, El País, El Mundo, De Standaard, Le Soir, General-Anzeiger, Tagesanzeiger, Le Temps, The Economist, Newsweek International, The International Herald Tribune and The Financial Times have decided to offer space.

For more information:
Communications Partnerships Manager
UNDP Geneva
Tel: (41 22) 917 83 68
Fax: (41 22) 917 85 00
E-mail: aziyade.poltier@undp.org

The initiative
Women earn 25% less than men for equal skills
United Nations Development Programme
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