Melinda and I will be in New York City next week for an event called Goalkeepers. Despite its name, it doesn’t have anything to do with the most popular sport in the world. It’s about the Global Goals—which deserve to be pretty popular too.
World leaders adopted the Global Goals in 2015 to help focus efforts to improve health, fight poverty, and stop climate change. As big fans of the goals, Melinda and I started the Goalkeepers event last year to accelerate progress toward them.
There’s a lot of exciting news to report this year, but there are also some trends that worry us. As we write in the introduction to this year’s Goalkeepers report, “decades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling. This is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else; more babies are being born in the places where it’s hardest to lead a healthy and productive life. If current trends continue, the number of poor people in the world will stop falling—and could even start to rise.”
Emphasis on the word could. Melinda and I have seen enough success stories in the two decades we’ve been doing this work to know that current trends can change. In fact, we’re optimistic that the progress won’t stall, and that it will continue—as long as the world invests in the health and education of young people. This is especially important in Africa, the one region of the world whose youth population is still growing.
If you want to know more, I encourage you to read the Goalkeepers report. We’ve invited experts and advocates from around the world to highlight some of the best ways to unleash the potential of the world’s young people.
You can also watch the Goalkeepers event live on Facebook on Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. EST. Melinda and I will be joined by humanitarian Graça Machel, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and many other leaders, experts, and activists. I’m excited about the day and hope you’ll join us.