The ONE Campaign Youth Ambassadors urge MEPs to fight against extreme poverty
Today, global anti-poverty group the ONE Campaign launched its first UK Youth Ambassadors programme, bringing together young activists from across the country to take the fight against extreme poverty to their MEP candidates in the run up to the European elections.
Ahead of the Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage televised debate on the EU and with Europe firmly back in the spotlight, more than 25 young people from Fife to Devon will gather in London to launch a six month campaign – locally, nationally and online – to fight for an end to extreme poverty by 2030.
The Youth Ambassadors will be urging MEP candidates to put ending extreme poverty firmly on the agenda and to support continued investments by the EU to boost agriculture, healthcare and access to energy in the developing world.
Diane Sheard, UK Director at the ONE Campaign said:
“We are very excited to be kicking off our Youth Ambassadors programme in London today with the European Parliamentary elections just seven weeks away. If enough MEP candidates pledge to fight for smart development assistance and support poor countries, there is a real chance of ending extreme poverty by 2030. Politics aside, reaching this target should be one thing we can all agree on. These young Ambassadors are the next generation of leaders in development; this is real grassroots activism in action.”
Bill Gates who was at the Paris launch of the Youth Ambassadors programme yesterday said:
“Development aid is a phenomenal investment – it saves children’s lives and helps families lift themselves out of poverty. The United Kingdom and the EU have shown great leadership and have had huge impact by making smart investments in programmes that focus on helping the world’s poorest.
“Those of us who see the phenomenal results of aid have a responsibility to speak up to ensure this work continues despite tough economic times. That is why I am excited to see the young people of the UK stepping up as “factivists” to help spread the truth. With continued focus and investment, I believe this can be the generation to end extreme poverty. “
The Youth Ambassadors will become leaders for the ONE Campaign in their communities and beyond, and will carry out a variety of creative, ambitious, and innovative actions. You can support the Ambassadors by signing our petition and learning more at www.one.org.
For more information please contact Chris Mitchell on 020 7434 7554 or [email protected]
Notes to editors:
1. The Youth Ambassadors are from 9 regions around the UK including the South West, Midlands, North West, Yorkshire & the Humber and Scotland.
2. Youth Ambassadors will be asking their MEPs candidates to sign the following pledge: “Ending extreme poverty is in our hands. Together, we can make sure it is virtually eliminated by 2030. In the next 5 years, we need to build support for the poorest countries, especially through investments in agriculture, healthcare and access to energy, and to make governments and businesses transparent and accountable. As a representative of the [British] people, I will make sure we keep our promises in the fight against extreme poverty, and help ensure that our laws make it easier for the world’s poor to lift themselves out of poverty.”
3. ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of more than 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Strictly nonpartisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and other preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, fight phantom firms that are used to hide stolen money, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes.
4. European Parliament elections will be taking place in the UK on 22 May (and across Europe from 22nd – 25th May).
5. According to the World Bank estimates, if the decline of extreme poverty continues at current rates, we will see its virtual elimination by 2030.
6. The Youth Ambassadors programme also launched in Paris and Brussels this week. It will run simultaneously across Europe, with young people from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy working together to ensure MEP candidates put ending extreme poverty firmly on the agenda and to support continued investments by the EU to boost agriculture, healthcare and access to energy in the developing world.