PRESS RELEASE: The Smurfs and the United Nations: Teaming up for a happier, more peaceful and more equitable world

20 March 2017, Pretoria: The popular Smurfs characters are encouraging children, young people and adults to make the world happier, more peaceful, equitable and healthy with a campaign launched by the United Nations, UNICEF, and the United Nations Foundation today, the International Day of Happiness.

The “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign is designed to encourage everyone to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which were agreed on by all 193 member countries of the United Nations in 2015. A Public Service Announcement video will be used to inspire viewers around the world to champion the Goals, which include ending extreme poverty, protecting the planet and giving everyone the chance to enjoy peace and prosperity.

“The entertainment industry moves the hearts and minds of people of all ages, and the UN thanks our friends at Sony Pictures Animation and the Smurfs for this creative effort to mobilize support for the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division in the United Nations Department of Public Information. “We hope this campaign will motivate millions of young people and their families to do their part to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that will lead to the well-being and happiness of all people.”

UNIC Pretoria and UNICEF will be hosting a film screening on Sunday, 26 March in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town for invited under-resourced primary school learners ahead of the country-wide release on the 31 March.

“We know that children and young people are some of the world’s most passionate advocates on issues that matter to them the most. We must continue to find new ways to empower them to help achieve a world free from inequality and injustice for every child. This campaign will give children and young people the platform they need to have their voices heard,” said UNICEF Director of Communications Paloma Escudero.

The public can also join “Team Smurfs” by visiting the SmallSmurfsBigGoals.com website to find out how they can contribute to achieving the Goals; discover which goals are best suited to their interests; raise their voices for a better world for all; and share information, ideas and images on social media.

“The campaign message focuses on the notion that every one of us can make a difference, regardless of our size,” said Veronique Culliford, the daughter of Peyo, who created the Smurfs in 1958. “It’s an honor and privilege for The Smurfs to support the United Nations and to continue our longstanding relationship with UNICEF.”

“All of us, even a small Smurf, can achieve big goals!” added Demi Lovato, who voices Smurfette in the upcoming animated film.

Notes to editors:
To view the United Nations/UNICEF Smurfs Partnership Video, please go to: www.smallsmurfsbiggoals.com
For High Resolution Print and Video assets in a variety of formats, please visit: http://bit.ly/2jxN43M
Participants can engage on social media using the hashtags #SmallSmurfsBigGoals and #TeamSmurfs

For media inquiries or requests for press interviews, please contact:

UNIC Pretoria
Zeenat Abdool
National Information officer
zeenat.abdool@unic.org
082 778 8080

UNICEF South Africa
Sudeshan Reddy
Communication Specialist
sureddy@unicef.org
082 561 3970