Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seeking to pressure world leaders to make universal internet access a priority by coming on board with the international campaign and advocacy organization, ONE campaign, to help bring this cause to the forefront.

While delivering a speech in front of the UN, he says that internet access is “essential for achieving humanity’s Global Goals.”

Facebook is joined by numerous individuals and organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Richard Branson, Ericsson’s Hans Vestberg, Arianna Huffington, Jimmy Wales, TED founder Chris Anderson, actor George Takei, artist Shakira, UN Foundation’s Kathy Calvin, actor Charlize Theron for the Africa Outreach Project, and others.

This call to action seeks to highlight part of the United Nation’s Global Goals, which the world body adopted this week, namely the section that demands internet access for all in the least-developed countries of the world by 2020.

Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook was partnering with the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees to bring web access to refugee camps around the world.

“Internet access is a catalyst for creating a world of greater freedom, fairness and dignity for all peoples, everywhere,” said ONE cofounder and global executive director Jamie Drummond in a statement.

“Every country must now agree an urgent plan to implement the Global Goals, and mission-critical within those strategies is connectivity for all. The Pope and Malala have spoken eloquently about the one world and one family we’re all a part of, and the internet, at its best, facilitates that unity. But when three billion are left beyond the internet, they are left behind and left out of that family. That must change and fast.”

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote that by giving someone internet access, those without a voice will be able to speak out and it empowers those that once were powerless. “We also know that the internet is a vital enabler of jobs, growth and opportunity,” he writes. “And research tells us that for every 10 people connected to the internet, about 1 is lifted out of poverty.”

The venture was christened the ‘Connectivity Declaration’.

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