When you see two of the biggest names in sports posing together in a pictorial, you just know something big is about to go down. And no, they’re not about to get married.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ star forward LeBron James and Russian tennis sensation Maria Sharapova both agreed to be photographed pro bono (read: free!) for a good cause. The two were asked by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to appear in ads that would feature the organizations millennium goals. The central concept to the entire campaign is the quelling of global poverty. Through alleviating the financial challenges of people, the goals will be more likely to be fulfilled in the near future.
World-renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier shot the images. Other prominent figures from the world of arts, entertainment and fashion would be featured in twos by the best photographers in the world.
The Eight Millennium Goals (source) include:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
* Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than one U.S. dollar a day.
* Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education
* Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling.
* Increased enrollment must be accompanied by efforts to ensure that all children remain in school and receive a high-quality education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
* Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.
4. Reduce child mortality
* Reduce the mortality rate among children under five by two thirds.
5. Improve maternal health
* Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
* Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
* Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
* Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
* Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water (for more information see the entry on water supply).
* Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020.
8. Develop a global partnership for development
* Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. Includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction—nationally and internationally.
* Address the least developed countries’ special needs. This includes tariff- and quota-free access for their exports; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction.
* Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing States.
* Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term.
* In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth.
* In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.