Honiara, Solomon Islands - Soccer viewers in Solomon Islands will soon be able to see the international soccer stars Zinedine Zidane and Didier Drogba promoting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on One Television.

Drogba and Zidane are both United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors, and their main message in the TV spot is to “Kick out poverty”.

“There can be no spectators in the fight against poverty,” said Chelsea striker Drogba, and Cote d’Ivoire national team captain. “We all need to be on the pitch to improve the lives of millions of poor people in this world.”  

The spot will be launched Friday 18 June ahead of the Germany-Serbia match and it will be broadcasted every day during the rest of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and further on until the 2010 MDG Review Summit in New York ends 22 September. 

The public service announcement aims to boost efforts to meet the MDGs; eight internationally-agreed goals which aim to eradicate extreme poverty; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.

“Soccer is a game that billions of people all over the world share a passionate feeling for. If we could make people worldwide share the same passionate feeling towards achieving the MDGs, we can really make poverty history” says UNDP Officer-in-Charge in Solomon Islands Ms Shabnam Mallick. “The massive soccer interest in Solomon Islands gives us a great opportunity to reach a wide audience with this extremely important message.”

The Government of Solomon Islands committed itself to the MDGs when it signed the Millennium Declaration in 2000. “We are very glad that the MDGs are promoted in such a way during the FIFA World Cup. This is an excellent opportunity to create awareness about the Goals, which Solomon Islands is proudly committed to,” says Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination (MDPAC), Mr Allan Daonga.

As it is only five years left to achieve the MDGs, this global public service announcement is meant to be a reminder showing that now is the time to take action. “The World Cup brings people around the globe together to support their national teams, and we need the same kind of passion to end poverty and hunger,” said Zidane, former French national team captain. “The 2015 target for the Millennium Development Goals is a few years away, so the time to make a difference is now.”

Zidane and Drogba’s video can be viewed on UNDP’s new soccer site, www.kickoutpoverty.org, which gives people the opportunity to join the fight against poverty.

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