Stars turn out in New York to support Global Citizen Festival

Beyonce, Bono, Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama attend equality awareness initiative

Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Pearl Jam were among the acts that performed at the Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park on Saturday night.

The festival aims to raise awareness about issues such as inequality, climate change and poverty and was timed to coincide with the announcement of the United Nations’ new Global Goals which seek to put an end to these problems by 2030.

Among the speakers at the event were U2's Bono, actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Katie Holmes, Hugh Jackman and Salma Hayek, comedian Stephen Colbert, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, US first lady Michelle Obama and vice president Joe Biden, and Swedish prime minister Stefan Lfven.

The Global Citizen initiative, according to its website, was created by the Global Poverty Project in 2012 to promote campaigns that seek to have a positive impact on people's lives and the environment.It is backed by the UN.


“A world where every child has a chance to go to school, a world where women and girls are protected from violence, and where preventable diseases aren’t holding people back,” its website says.

The Global Poverty Project is an international non-profit organisation whose mission is to end extreme poverty by 2030. It says it works with other NGOs, business leaders, world leaders and global citizens in its efforts “to build the largest movement of people taking actions and calling on governments to support policies that would significantly impact the world’s poor”.

Some 48,000 free tickets were distributed for the festival this year.

The event coincides with the UN General Assembly in New York at which world leaders have unanimously approved the latest set of global goals. Presidents, prime ministers and diplomats from the UN’s 193 members stood and applauded loudly after General Assembly president Mogens Lykketoft announced the approval of the development roadmap.