Global Citizen anti-poverty campaign heads to London


New York (AFP)

Global Citizen, the anti-poverty campaign which draws thousands with its activism-driven concerts in New York, on Tuesday announced its first show in Britain.

The April 17 event, timed ahead of a summit of Commonwealth leaders in London, will press for funding to educate children in crisis zones, to promote gender equality and to eradicate preventable diseases such as polio and malaria.

The concert at the nearly 5,000-capacity 02 Academy Brixton will be free to fans who take actions such as sending letters to governments to advance the causes.

For its inaugural London event, Global Citizen chose a lineup of rising British stars including singers Emeli Sande and Gabrielle Aplin and producer Naughty Boy.

"Extreme poverty doesn't have to exist in 2018 and it shouldn't exist by 2030," said another performer, the rapper Professor Green.

"It's time we join Global Citizen and tell our leaders to create a world where everyone's able to succeed," he said.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat voiced hope that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting would step up the fight against polio, the paralyzing disease of which only 22 cases were reported last year, all in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

"In partnership with Global Citizen, I hope that at this year's Commonwealth Summit, we will agree to finish the job on polio once and for all and look to apply these lessons to ending neglected tropical diseases and malaria," he said in a statement.

The concert also marks the centennial year of the birth of Nelson Mandela, with Global Citizen planning more events dedicated to the anti-apartheid hero throughout 2018.

The Global Citizen Festival has been held each September since 2012 in New York's Central Park with headliners who have included Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Coldplay.

Global Citizen, which has also held editions in India and Germany and holds periodic public talks, aims to mobilize the young audiences usually seen at concerts to put development high on the international agenda.

Information on Global Citizen Live London event can be found at .