The United Nations was ablaze last week with global artists bringing a message of hope for a better future in 2015 and beyond.
On Friday, June 6, global voices came together in song to bring a message of hope during a unique event at United Nations Headquarters in New York, hosted by the President of the General Assembly, John W. Ashe. The purpose of the concert titled – Setting the Stage: 2015 and Beyond – was to raise public awareness about the historic opportunity that will arise in 2015 when world leaders come together to pledge to end poverty and put the world on a sustainable path.
The event featured the zouk band Kassav’and soca artists David Rudder, Machel Montano and Tizzy. The Band Lalon from Bangladesh and Hip Hop artist Emmanuel Jal brought to the stage the voices and testimonies of Least Developed Countries. Through the rhythms and energy of world music, the performers expressed the hopes of billions of people around the world for a better future, where every child can go to school, where women and girls do not fear violence and where everybody can drink clean water and breathe clean air.
Everyone has a role in making the world a better place was a key message from the celebratory evening. “Remember”, said President Ashe, “the lives of generations to come, the planet we call home and the future of all that encompasses our world depend on the actions we take today.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that “the year 2015 is a once-in-a generation opportunity”, reminding the audience that “our duty is to end poverty, leave no one behind and build lives of dignity for all.”
In a moving statement on stage, former child soldier Emmanuel Jal warned that there can be no peace with poverty, because “Peace is when my belly is full.” Sumi (Band Lalon) told the public about her country Bangladesh, where despite recent progress, over 60 million people still live in poverty and most of them are women.
Jocelyne Béroard describing the cultural diversity of Kassav’, called people to come together as one to better understand each other, adding that “Our weapon is music”. As the concert closed and performers said goodbye, the audience spontaneously followed her cue, singing along with Bob Marley’s song that we are all one world.