Chinese celebrities support the Sustainable Development Goals

Chinese celebrities support the Sustainable Development Goals

Seven leading Chinese celebrities including actors, singers, film directors, a fashion model and a racing driver are giving their support to the Sustainable Development Goals after a visit to the United Nations in Vienna.

24 Apr 2018

The celebrities came to Vienna to film an episode of the popular Chinese youth reality TV show ‘Keep Running’, which is watched by millions in China and beyond. As part of the programme they were set a challenge: to research and prepare a speech about one or two of the Goals which they had to deliver in English at Vienna’s City Hall.

On a snowy morning in March, the celebrities, Deng Chao, Angelababy, Li Chen, Chen He, Zheng Kai, Wong Cho Lam and Lu Han, visited the Vienna International Centre. There they took a guided tour in Chinese with one of UNIS Vienna’s multi-lingual tour guides. Their tour included a special meeting with the Security team’s K9 unit and its newest member, nine-month-old puppy Prince, but they also walked the well-trodden path followed by more than 55,000 other visitors who come to the UN in Vienna every year to learn about the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals. They visited a UN conference room, posed for selfies with life-sized cut-outs of UN peacekeepers, admired an actual piece of the Moon on loan from NASA, and had fun guessing what a leather shoe on display may have to do with achieving the SDGs.

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At the end of their tour, a surprise was waiting for the group when they met the Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, Simonetta di Pippo who handed the contestants their challenge.

Later in the evening at a Youth Forum in the ornate setting of City Hall, the celebrities delivered their speeches on Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 13 and 17 before audience of more than 500 people. They were joined by six speakers from different Vienna-based UN organizations who spoke about their work to achieve the Goals.

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For the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Gender Coordinator Hedda Femundsenden gave some examples of how UNIDO is helping women to set up their own businesses and find decent work through entrepreneurship courses, online e-learning and business development training.

A video shown at the Forum demonstrated four great modern-day inventions of China – mobile payments, high-speed rail, shared bicycles and e-commerce, showing the importance of industry, innovation and infrastructure. Wong Cho Lam and Lu Han spoke about the key role of UNIDO and how its Bridge for Cities event is advancing Goal 9. They believe that innovative inventions can benefit the world through cooperation between countries, which is linked to the idea of partnership, Goal 17.

The TV show, which is aimed at young people from the age of 16, was broadcast on Zhejiang Satellite TV channel on Friday 13th April and is also available on YouTube

The Vienna-based UN organizations were delighted to have the opportunity to spread the word about the work being done in Vienna to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to so many young people through the TV show.

The seven celebrities have a combined social media following of more than 500 million people on the Chinese platform Weibo and also on Instagram.

It is hoped the TV show will encourage other young people in China and beyond to become interested in the Sustainable Development Goals and organize their own Youth Forum-style events, as well as taking action to achieve the Goals.

Read Hedda Femundensen's address