United Nations Announces the First Global Vote Day


The United Nations will dedicate the first week of May to getting out the vote for its MY World opinion poll, organizing a multitude of activities in more than 50 countries to raise awareness of and boost global participation. The goal is to foster a two-way conversation with the world’s citizens that will better inform the current debate about what should be included in to the next global development agenda being announced in September 2015.

The United Nations Millennium Campaign, the force behind MY World, will bring together over 700 international partners during the MY World Week of Action with one goal in mind- to get as many people as possible to raise their voices and express their views on what matters most directly to the UN.

This week the needle crossed 2 million voters from 194 nations who have participated in the MY World poll through paper ballots, via mobile phones and online. The survey asks participants to rank their top 6 issues of 16 provided. The information, to be collected until 2015, will then be used to guide the UN policymakers and country governments in the formulation of the post-2015 development agenda.

“The MY World Week of Action along with other consultative efforts of the UN System continues to ensure that the process of shaping the Post-2015 transformative people-centred and planet-sensitive sustainable development agenda, remains inclusive,” said Amina J. Mohammed, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning.

“I expect that the votes and aspirations of stakeholders the world over will enrich the deliberations of member states as they work towards an ambitious agenda aiming to achieve lasting results for people’s well-being while protecting the planet.”

The MY World Week of Action is slated to run from May 5 through May 11, with Global Vote Day on May 8, during which organizers will use crowdsourcing in hopes of drumming up an additional 500,000 votes to bring the total to 2.5 million. In support of the Week of Action, the UN’s People’s Podium will be in Trafalgar Square, London to provide a platform to youth groups and ordinary citizens to vote and have their say in creating the world they want. The podium has been touring the world encouraging citizens to vote, and serves as a reminder of the UN’s intention to have an open and inclusive conversation with people everywhere. The week will also coincide with the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, where a MY World voting booth will be available to attendees, and the World Economic Forum in Nigeria, where results will be shared. Final results of the week will be announced at a +Social Good event hosted by the Kofi Annan Foundation, with 700 students and the United Nations Foundation Board of Directors on May 13 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Over the past year, thousands of volunteers have gone out all across the globe and used MY World to offer ordinary people the opportunity to have their say on what they think matters most,” said Corinne Woods, director of the UN Millennium Campaign. “For the new development goals to be truly sustainable, we must all know them and believe in them. This is why we are urging everyone to cast their vote. We, in turn, commit to ensuring these votes are placed before politicians and leaders everywhere. People should be in no doubt that these votes really do count.

With nearly 2 million respondents surveyed, preliminary MY World results suggest the following trends:

1.    Good education followed by better healthcare and ’an honest and responsive government’ rank as the top-3 most important issues, with job opportunities coming fourth among voters overall. That trend essentially bears out among those from low-and medium-income developing countries and for respondents with less than a secondary education.

In fact, among those from very high-income developed countries, better education was the only issue in common with low- and medium-income developing countries. Healthcare and job opportunities fell to 6th and 11th, with access to clean water and sanitation ranking 3rd.

2.    A generation gap of sorts appears to be forming among overall respondents with those under 30 years old worried more about job opportunities than their over-30 counterparts, who seemed more concerned about living under honest and responsive governments.

3.    As for a gender gap, men and women tended to share the same top-7 concerns.

4.    People in poorer countries were much more likely than those in richer countries to choose better communications infrastructure as one of their six. One in three voters in low-income countries chose better transport and roads and better phone and internet access as one of their six options, while only one in ten respondents in high-income countries chose these options.

5.    Of the 2 million surveyed so far, just over one million responded through paper ballot, nearly 380,000 through mobile/SMS and almost 456,000 online.

MY World is the result of a collective effort made possible through the collaboration of its founding members UNMC, UNDP, ODI, core partners like UN Foundation, UNICEF, UNV and IPSOS Mori and more than 700 partners around the world, including NGOs, faith groups, youth movements, academia and private sector.

For more information about MY World and to view more results, please visit data.myworld2015.org.