Become a Global Citizen

04/18/2015 01:37 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2015

It's been 15 years since the turn of the millennium when the United Nations convened and world leaders committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); a list of eight global commitments that, if met, would end extreme poverty. Each goal had specific targets, which were to be achieved by September 2015.

World leaders made a promise to make a tangible difference for the world's poorest and yet these commitments have not been met in their entirety and as a consequence extreme poverty has only been halved; it's progress but it falls short of the commitment that was made. Although there have been major achievements in accomplishing the MDGs, the progress made has been uneven among countries. Many countries, most notably Brazil and Rwanda, achieved many of the goals whereas other countries have failed to realize any of them. A main reason for the short fall was foreign aid contributions, many developed nations committed to contributing 0.7 percent of their gross national income to the cause, but failed to deliver.

In September these goals expire and again the world will have the opportunity to set a new agenda for the next 15 years. The United Nations are calling this new agenda the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's); broader goals that are applicable to everyone in the world, totaling 17 goals that cover everything from climate change to sustainable development.

To contribute to this dialogue, One on One has partnered with the United Nations to produce a series of interviews with the leading members of the UN MDG Advocacy Group, including interviews with President Kagame of Rwanda, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Muhammad Yunus and Jeffrey Sachs, to discuss the successes and challenges of these goals.

Starting with the release of the MDG Series, we are going to devote the year to presenting interviews that discuss the state of the world, not only what has been but more importantly what is to come. We will also be partnering with Global Citizen, an online content and campaign platform, to produce series that will engage citizens to participate in the discussion. It is the responsibility of the public, as much as it is our governments, to engage with this global agenda. Powered by Global Citizen, we are giving you the tools to know how to take that responsibility, to know what the world's challenges are, what the solutions might be and what you can do about them.

Today in Washington, D.C., Global Citizen, The Earth Day Network, The World Bank and Connect for Climate, are hosting a concert on the steps of the National Mall. My Morning Jacket, Fall Out Boy, Mary J Blige, Usher, and No Doubt are going to perform for Global Citizen's 2015 Earth Day rally to educated and inspire citizens to take immediate action to end extreme poverty and address climate change. Hosted by Common, D'Banj, Fally Ipupa, VIXX, and Roy Kim, as well as presentations from Chris Martin, Will.i.am, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and President Kim of the World Bank, the concert and rally promises to be an inspiring event.

This year world leaders will agree on a pathway to sustainable development and Global Citizen is taking on the challenge to make sure they are known throughout the world and acted on. We're going to hear from most knowledgeable and culturally relevant people on this subject to create a dialogue about the challenges, the solutions and what can be done in terms of national development.

As we convene today at the national mall we ask you, to engage in the dialogue, to care about the issues and become a Global Citizen.