Actor, producer, and UN Secretary-General’s Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, Dia Mirza, delivered an impassioned speech at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards 2023 on Saturday. Speaking as a concerned mother, she shed light on the alarming consequences of the triple planetary crises of Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Biodiversity Loss. However, as she pointed out, the world could still course correct with the help of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), "The SDGs offer a comprehensive roadmap to protect the planet, combat poverty, achieve gender equality, and enhance the well-being of people worldwide. If every citizen, leader, policymaker, and stakeholder plays an active role in championing at least one Goal, transformational progress can be made."
Highlighting the importance of collaboration, Dia praised the partnership between the United Nations in India and IIFA and said that harnessing the power of creativity and arts could inspire collective action on the SDGs. “There are many people out there that don’t know what are sustainable development goals. I really believe that this is going to be a powerful partnership to help spread that awareness and will moments on the goals,” she said.
She also highlighted inspiring examples of change and spoke about organizations that are advocating gender-equitable education, individuals who are finding ways to repurpose plastic waste, and businesses that are innovating to find sustainable solutions. But even on a micro level, everyone can do something.
Echoing United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres' words, "Humanity has a choice, cooperate or perish", Dia underscored the need for immediate action on the SDGs and concluded, "It is time to envision and create a sustainable, safe, harmonious and happy planet for all our children. And we must act now because as I read somewhere, the future would either be green or not exist at all."