UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Marta Vieira da Silva appointed as Sustainable Development Goals Advocate

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of world-renowned soccer player Marta Vieira da Silva as one of his new Sustainable Development Goals Advocates for 2019-2020. The Advocates are 17 influential public figures who are tasked by the Secretary-General to promote the Goals, raise awareness with new audiences, maintain global commitment and call for greater ambition and scalable action to achieve the SDGs by 2030. 

An icon and role model for many, Marta, as she is universally known by her fans, is widely regarded as the best female soccer player of all time. The UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Women and Girls in Sport currently plays for Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States and as a forward on the Brazil national team. She is the all-time top scorer of the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament and has been named Player of the Year six times. She was also a member of the Brazilian national teams that won the silver medal at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, named one of six ambassadors for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, and expected to compete in the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Marta’s selection as an SDG Advocate reflects her role in driving for the gender equality and empowerment of women that underpin the success of all the Goals, as well as her strong commitment to the United Nations, having previously also been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP. Marta is dedicating her efforts to support the United Nations and UN Women’s work across the world, inspiring women and girls to challenge stereotypes, overcome barriers and follow their dreams and ambitions, including in the area of sport, with impact across the SDGs.

Marta has often said “I know, from my life experience, that sport is a fantastic tool for empowerment…through sport, women and girls can challenge socio-cultural norms and gender stereotypes and increase their self-esteem, develop life skills and leadership; they can improve their health and ownership and understanding of their bodies; become aware of what is violence and how to prevent it, and look for available services and develop economic skills”. 

The UN Secretary-General has tasked the Advocates with driving action to achieve the interconnected, transformative 2030 Agenda, building ambition, and solidifying global political will. The Advocates represent the universal character of the SDGs, hailing from Governments, entertainment, academia, sport, business and activist organizations around the world. Together, they will leverage and build bridges between their unique audiences and work together to drive progress.

More on the announcement and full list of Sustainable Development Goals Advocates below.

Secretary-General appoints new Sustainable Development Goals Advocates

Peace, prosperity, people, planet, and partnerships.

The principles at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals are also what drive the new class of SDG Advocates, appointed today by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. These 17 influential public figures are committed to raising awareness, inspiring greater ambition, and pushing for faster action on the SDGs, which were adopted by world leaders on 25 September 2015. 

United Nations Member States agreed to accomplish the SDGs by 2030. To build the momentum for transformative, inclusive development by 2030, the Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates will use their unique platforms and leadership to inspire cross-cutting mobilization of the global community.

“We have the tools to answer the questions posed by climate change, environmental pressure, poverty and inequality. They lie in the great agreements of 2015 – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. But tools are no use if you don’t use them. So, today, and every day, my appeal is clear and simple. We need action, ambition and political will. More action, more ambition and more political will,” said the Secretary-General. 

The Secretary-General has tasked the Advocates with driving that action, building that ambition, and solidifying global political will. 

The Advocates represent the universal character of the SDGs, hailing from Governments, entertainment, academia, sport, business and activist organizations around the world. The Advocates will leverage and build bridges between their unique audiences, and work together to drive progress.

“By joining forces to achieve our goals, we can turn hope into reality – leaving no one behind,” said Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates group Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway. 

Said Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates and President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, “This is a time of great hope for the world. If we work smartly together and stay on course, we can raise millions out of poverty and significantly expand basic social services for many more by the 2030 end date of the SDGs.” 

The Secretary-General has appointed some members of the previous class of SDG Advocates as SDG Advocate Alumni, and looks forward to their ongoing support and engagement. 

For more information, please visit www.unsdgadvocates.org. 

The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates are:


  • His Excellency Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana (Republic of Ghana)
  • Her Excellency Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway (Kingdom of Norway)


  • Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians (Kingdom of Belgium)
  • His Royal Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano (Federal Republic of Nigeria)
  • Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder, Education Above All Foundation (State of Qatar)
  • Mr. Richard Curtis, Screenwriter, Producer and Film Director (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
  • Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Activist, Environment and Indigenous Rights (Republic of Chad)
  • Mr. Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group (People’s Republic of China)
  • Mrs. Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust (Republic of Mozambique)
  • Ms. Dia Mirza, Actress and Film Producer, UN Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador for India (Republic of India)
  • Dr. Alaa Murabit, Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women (Canada)
  • Ms. Nadia Murad, Nobel Laureate, Chair and President, Nadia’s Initiative, UN Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador (Republic of Iraq)
  • Mr. Edward Ndopu, Founder, Global Strategies on Inclusive Education (Republic of South Africa)
  • Mr. Paul Polman, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair of the Board of United Nations Global Compact (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  • Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University (United States of America)
  • Ms. Marta Vieira da Silva, Footballer, Orlando Pride, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador (Federative Republic of Brazil)
  • Mr. Forest Whitaker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation (United States of America)

The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate Alumni are:

  • Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (Kingdom of Sweden)
  • Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson, United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation (Republic of Korea)
  • Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Laureate, Founder, Gbowee Peace Foundation (Republic of Liberia)
  • Ms. Shakira Mebarak, Founder, Pies Descalzos Foundation (Republic of Colombia)
  • Mr. Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, Founder, Leo Messi Foundation (Argentine Republic)
  • Mr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Founder, Grameen Bank (People’s Republic of Bangladesh)

Read the full press release at UN.org

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