Keep Running: Chinese celebrities supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

Keep Running: Chinese celebrities supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. Image: UNODC13 April 2018 - Seven leading Chinese celebrities, including actors, singers, film directors, a fashion model and a racing driver are giving their support to the Sustainable Development Goals after a visit to the United Nations in Vienna. The celebrities came to Vienna to film an episode of the reality TV show Keep Running, which is watched by millions in China and beyond. As part of the programme, they were set a challenge: to prepare and deliver a speech about one or two of the Goals in English.

At a Youth Forum in the ornate setting of City Hall, the celebrities, Deng Chao, Angelababy, Li Chen, Chen He, Zheng Kai, Wong Cho Lam and Lu Han, delivered their speeches before audience of more than 500 people. They were joined by six speakers from different Vienna-based UN organizations, including UNODC, who spoke about their work to achieve the Goals.

The live event was hosted by the City of Vienna and compered by Margareta Griessler-Hermann from the Mayor Office. The Director of the UN Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna, Martin Nesirky, introduced the Sustainable Development Goals.

Margaret Akullo, Project Coordinator in UNODC's Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, spoke of her own personal experience of living through conflict as a child, and how she feared whether anyone would protect her family.

"UNODC is trying to ensure people trying to move to a place of safety during conflicts, and who can be vulnerable to being exploited by human traffickers, are protected and kept safe. This is helping to achieve Goal 10, reducing inequalities, and Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions," she said.

The celebrities gave their speeches on Goals 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 13 and 17. The only woman member among the group, Angelababy, in her speech about Goal 3, mentioned UNODC's Youth Crime Prevention through Sports initiative under the Doha Declaration. She called for the use of sport to help young people develop life skills, strengthen social inclusion, and stay away from violence, crime and drugs while having fun.

The TV show, which is aimed at young people from the age of 16, was broadcast on Zhejiang Satellite TV channel on 13 April and is also available on YouTube.

The seven film, TV and singing stars, have a combined social media following of more than 500 million people, on the Chinese platform Weibo and also on Instagram.

It is hoped the TV show will encourage other young people in China and beyond to become interested in the Sustainable Development Goals and organize their own Youth Forum-style events, as well as taking action to achieve the Goals.

Further Information:

Sustainable Development Goals

UNODC's Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section

The Doha Declaration: Promoting a Culture of Lawfulness