Visual Assets including b-roll, photos with captions and social media assets are available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1GSIl_7nTGVMwQySQGwoLGtggRzHkIn-m
Bonn (Germany), 02 June 2023 - The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is proud to announce that three-time Grammy Award winning Indian musician Ricky Kej has been appointed one of its official Goodwill Ambassadors.
He has previously served as UNCCD Land Ambassador, helping the Convention raise awareness of land degradation, desertification and drought with his fans around the world.
In this new designation, he will act as an honorary spokesperson, playing a crucial role in raising awareness and advocating for the objectives of the Convention with youth, women, children and affected communities.
This announcement comes two weeks before the global observance of Desertification and Drought Day with a high-level event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 16 June where Ricky will be performing alongside fellow UNCCD Goodwill Ambassadors, musicians Baaba Maal and Inna Modja. This year’s Desertification and Drought Day will put the global spotlight on women’s land rights under the slogan “Her Land. Her Rights”.
The UNCCD was set up in 1994 in response to the global challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought. The Convention works with its 197 Parties to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030, a global target enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals. Up to 40 per cent of land worldwide is currently degraded, with dire consequences for our climate, biodiversity and livelihoods. Droughts are up 29 per cent since 2000, driven by climate change and land degradation. Women, especially those from poor and marginalized communities, are disproportionately affected, due to various factors including their limited access to and control of land. In all parts of the world, they face significant barriers in securing land rights, limiting their ability to thrive and prosper.
Ibrahim Thiaw, Under-Secretary-General and UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “I am honoured that Ricky Kej has agreed to take on the important role of UNCCD Goodwill Ambassador, joining musicians Baaba Maal and Inna Modja appointed to the same role earlier this year. With his global influence and commitment to sustainability, this outstanding artist will play a crucial role in raising awareness around the importance of combatting desertification, land degradation and drought.
“I am confident that his appointment will significantly strengthen our efforts to mitigate today’s impacts of land degradation and advance tomorrow’s land stewardship to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner.”
Ricky Kej, internationally renowned and three-time Grammy-Award-winning Indian music producer and singer, said:
“It's a privilege to be a UNCCD Goodwill Ambassador, and I'm committed to raising awareness about land degradation neutrality while championing gender equality. I believe that by empowering women, we can inspire global action to protect our Earth and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“My passion for music and environmental action extends to promoting empowerment and equality for all. It is important to tackle desertification and land degradation while uplifting every member of our global community. As part of my mandate as UNCCD Goodwill Ambassador, I will continue to contribute to these efforts.”
Notes to editors
For more information or interviews, please contact:
UNCCD Press Office: press [at] unccd.int (pressatunccddotint) or unccd [at] portland-communications.com (unccdatportland-communicationsdotcom)
Xenya Scanlon, Chief of Communications, External Relations and Partnerships, xscanlon [at] unccd.int (xscanlonatunccddotint)
Sarah Banda Genchev, Goodwill Ambassador Focal Point, sbanda-genchev [at] unccd.int (sbanda-genchevatunccddotint)
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship in order to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner.
About Ricky Kej
Ricky Kej is a music composer, US Billboard chart No.1 artist, and a three-time Grammy winner. He is also a passionate advocate for sustainable development and environmental action. In 2019, Ricky composed the UNCCD anthem “Born from the Land”, which he performed at the high-level event with his co-writer and fellow Goodwill Ambassador, Baaba Maal. Ricky’s environmentalist advocacy efforts have been recognized by various accolades over the years – he received the United Nations “Global Humanitarian Artist” award, the Ban Ki-moon Award and was named one of the 100 Real
Leaders who ‘Inspire the Future’ as well as the Parliament of Canada’s Outstanding Musical and Humanitarian award and was named as one of the 100 Real Leaders who ‘Inspire the Future’.
About Desertification and Drought Day 2023
This year’s Desertification and Drought Day, marked on 17 June, will put the global spotlight on women’s land rights with events taking place in New York and around the world.
The global observance event, titled “Her Land. Her Rights: Advancing Gender Equality and Land Restoration Goals” will take place at the United Nations Headquarters’ General Assembly Hall on Friday, 16 June 2023.
The event will be opened by the President of the 77th General Assembly, and will convene high-level policymakers, women leaders, renowned scientists, land activists, and youth representatives from around the world to discuss policies and actions needed to advance women’s land rights and promote stronger female leadership and decision-making power in sustainable land management.
The event is open to media and can be followed online via UN Web TV.
More information, including registration details, can be found here.