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Young Campaigners Demand More Than Hot Air From Leaders at G7

  • 250 Youth Ambassadors Head To Munich For ‘ONE Summit’ To Ask World Leaders To Put Poorest First
  • Campaigners To Join Thousands At Rally To Unite Against Poverty

More than 250 young campaigners from 10 countries will gather in Germany next weekend (5-7 June) to demand that world leaders put the poorest first at the G7 Summit.

The activists, all members of anti-poverty group The ONE Campaign, will call on leaders to pledge at least 50% of overseas aid to the least developed countries (LDCs)(1), put girls and women at the heart of global development(2) and make sure this G7 Summit truly works for the world’s poorest(3).

They will call for a focus on girls and women, both to address the additional deprivation they face and because smart investments in women are more effective at lifting communities out of poverty.

ONE’s Youth Ambassadors will take part in a series of stunts and actions in Munich, just a short distance from the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, to amplify their calls. These include:

  • Giant balloon heads of G7 leaders to show that the seven richest countries need to produce more than hot air and keep their promises to the world’s poorest (Friday, June 5).
  • Wearing masks of the leaders around Munich to remind them they are accountable and highlight the call-to-action (Saturday, June 6).
  • Joining a mass rally – featuring celebrities such as musician Usher and global leaders like Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – along with thousands of people all United Against Poverty(4) (Saturday, June 6).

Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director of ONE, said: “These campaigners are asking with one voice that the world’s poorest people are put first at the G7. The leaders of the seven richest countries must show they are listening.

 “Chancellor Merkel has the chance to lead a Summit that could strike a real blow in the fight against extreme poverty – if they put girls and women centre stage and refocus aid towards the least developed countries.

 “ONE Youth Ambassadors will be watching and reminding powerful government leaders they need to deliver. They must ensure the G7 Summit works for the poorest and most vulnerable so that no-one is left behind.”

The activists will come from around the world and represent every G7 country – with Youth Ambassadors from Germany, France, Italy, The UK, The USA, Canada and Japan. There will also be Youth Ambassadors from Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium.

During the ONE Summit, the Youth Ambassadors will be trained in how to organise effective campaigns and influence policy. It will give these motivated young campaigners valuable experience to ensure they can hold their leaders to account and ensure they see an end to extreme poverty in their lifetimes.

The G7 is an important opportunity in 2015 to set the global agenda in what is a fundamental year for international development (5).

With the Millennium Development Goals being replaced in September – the pressure is on for world leaders to agree a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and agree a global plan to help the world’s poorest countries and poorest people.

Extreme poverty has been halved in the last 20 years, and could be virtually eliminated by 2030, but only if we collectively rise to the challenge.


  • 43% of people living in Least Developed Countries live in extreme poverty, compared with 13% of the population in non-LDC developing countries. LDCs are projected to make up 50% of the global poverty burden by 2030. However, according to ONE’s 2015 DATA Report, the share of aid that LDCs are receiving has actually fallen in the last year.
  • ONE’s ‘Poverty is Sexist’ campaign is calling for women’s empowerment to be at the heart of the Global Goals. It has been backed by 36 of the world’s most powerful women, including Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Lady Gaga, Angelique Kidjo and other leading women from the worlds of business, arts, politics and activism who have written an open letter to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and African Union Commission Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who both host crucial summits in the coming weeks.
  • The ONE Campaign is also calling on G7 countries to pledge support for transparency and accountability, boost agriculture and food nutrition, for ambitious commitments on aid and to boost momentum for achieving strong Sustainable Development Goals at the UN General Assembly in September.
  • The Unite Against Poverty mobilisation rally will call on world leaders to use the G7 as a pivotal moment in the fight against extreme poverty. It takes place on June 6th in Konnigsplatz, Munich, and alongside celebrities it will feature seven ‘unsung heroes’ of development. It will is a partnership between AMREF, German Agro Action, Global Citizen, ONE, Plan Deutschland, Save the Children International and World Vision. For more information please visit the Unite Against Poverty website here.
  • Key international meetings where these issues will be discussed include the Europeans Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 26 May; the G7 Summit, hosted by Germany in Schloss Elmau on 7 – 8 June; the African Union Summit in South Africa on 7 – 15 June; and the third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 13 – 16 July.