Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau took to the stage in Germany on Thursday, to talk about feminist foreign aid – and introduce Coldplay.
The Canadian Prime Minister and his wife appeared at the Global Citizen Festival, which aims to end extreme poverty, ahead of the G20 Summit in Hamburg.
Speaking to 9,000 festivalgoers on Thursday night, Trudeau began by addressing the crowd at Barclaycard Arena in German, French, and English.
“Global Citizens like you know that the fight for fairness and equality starts with empowering women and girls,” he said.
Trudeau then handed over to his wife, who said, “The really big issues we face, like climate change, poverty, and disease affect women and girls more than anyone else.”
“Just a few weeks ago, we announced Canada’s first feminist international assistance policy. It puts women and girls at the heart of these efforts and these great issues.”
The Prime Minister elaborated, saying the policy invests in grassroots women’s organizations “like never before.” “It underscores something that we all know.”
The couple then recited in unison: “Given equal opportunities, women and girls can change the world!”
Trudeau said that’s one of the messages he’ll be bringing to the G20 leaders’ summit this weekend – and asked the crowd to share that message too.
Finally though, the Prime Minister got down to the business of the day– introducing Coldplay, and lead singer Chris Martin, who is creative director Global Citizen.
— Coldplay (@coldplay) July 6, 2017
“Now – if you want to talk about people who are working hard to build a better world, our next guest has to be near the top of that list.”
“In 2015, he made a 15-year commitment, to support Global Citizen, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the movement to end extreme poverty.
“Since then, he and his band have headlined Global Citizen festivals in America and in Canada, and it is my absolute pleasure to introduce them here tonight.”
Returning to the stage on his own later on, Trudeau said it was tempting to call the huge audience the “leaders of tomorrow.”
“But I don’t want you to think of yourselves as the leaders of tomorrow. I need you to understand that you are leaders today,” he shouted.
“Everything you do, everything you act on, everything you say matters and shapes the world around you and that’s why I am so proud to be inspired by all of you tonight.”
Trudeau said he shared the believe of the audience and performers that poverty and diseases, like polio, AIDS, tuberculosis can and must be eliminated.
“We know that women and girls are especially vulnerable to some of these diseases,” he said, adding that in the hardest hit countries, girls account for 80% of all new HIV cases.
Women and girls also face health risks related to pregnancy and childbirth, he said, and malnutrition is a constant concern where women and girls “eat least, and eat last.”
Trudeau then said Canada has pledged $100 million to help eradicate polio, and introduced Sufi Mujhgan, a Pakistani polio health worker, social entrepreneur, and activist.
“As a polio worker, I face many challenges, but I keep going because I believe every child in my country should have an equal opportunity to a healthy and happy childhood,” she said.
Polio is a highly-infectious viral disease, which mostly affects children. Transmitted from person-to-person, it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.
While there is no cure for polio, it is entirely eradicable through vaccination. However, vaccination efforts require funding, and are not yet complete globally.
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are yet to stop the transmission of polio, which according to the World Health Organization, leaves the entire global population of children at risk.
Some 16 million children have been saved from polio so far, the lack of global vaccination could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world.
“I will not rest until we succeed in protecting all children from this terrible disease, together with the help of Canada and other nations,” Mujhgan told the Global Citizen audience.
“We can reach every child with vaccinations and end polio for good. Let’s work together!”
The Global Citizen concert was also headlined by Shakira and German star Herbert Grönemeyer. Other performers included Pharrell Williams and Ellie Goulding.
Meanwhile, the Trudeaus were not the only high profile speakers. Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri, and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg also spoke.
You can watch the whole Global Citizen concert below:
The Global Citizen concert is free to attend, but to get tickets, fans had to pledge action to encourage world leaders to help the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
This is the first time the festival, which was founded in 2012, has been held in Germany, due to the G20 Summit beginning there on Friday.
The annual summit will see leaders and central bank governors from 20 major global economies meet to discuss policies affecting global financial stability.
The “G20” are Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the European Union, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and the US.
This year, the agenda includes more inclusive growth, sustainable development, women’s rights, refugees and migrants, and counter-terrorism.
However, the summit has long attracted protesters, arguing against what they see as economic hegemony, corporate greed and capitalism.
The Hamburg summit has proven no different, with tens of thousands of protesters in a standoff with hundreds of armoured riot police.
Protesters have reportedly thrown bottles and smoke bombs at police, and police have responded by blasting demonstrators with water cannons.