World Leaders to Join Aid Event before New York Concert


Leaders of several countries as well as rocker Tom Morello will take part in a second day of the anti-poverty Global Citizen Festival in New York, organizers said Thursday.

The Global Citizen Festival, which distributes free tickets to fans who commit to action to support the world's poorest, will take place on September 24 in Central Park with headliners Rihanna, Metallica and Kendrick Lamar.

The festival, which last year featured a slew of visiting speakers including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama, said it would hold an initial event this year on September 22 at New York University.

The event will aim to secure commitments on development ahead of the main festival two days later, organizers said.

The prime ministers of Belgium, Malta and The Netherlands will attend as well as Australia's foreign minister, Nigeria's environment minister and actor Forest Whitaker, Global Citizen said.

Musical attractions will include Morello -- best known as the guitarist of politically charged rockers Rage Against the Machine -- as well as versatile jazz artist Jon Batiste, alternative pop singer Regina Spektor and soul singer Aloe Blacc.

"Music has been, and will continue to be, an important component of the struggle for a more peaceful, just and humane planet," Morello said in a statement.

Global Citizen, which has taken place annually since 2012, recently announced an expansion to India with hip-hop great Jay Z and rockers Coldplay to perform for the first time in the country at the November 19 show in Mumbai.

The festival encourages music fans to sign petitions or take other action for causes critical to ending extreme poverty such as putting more girls in school and improving access to toilets.

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