Media Advisory: UNDP, Italy invite the press to follow production of global film in Rio’s Baixada

One of the world’s most violent metropolitan regions, the Baixada Fluminense is now at the heart of a UNDP global project to mobilize musicians and artists to translate sustainable development into action and accountability 

Rio de Janeiro, 17 January 2017 – The United Nations Development Programme has partnered with professional documentarists from Italy and Brazil to produce a pioneering film on the power of music to engage citizens in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda and to trigger increased government transparency and accountability. Italy’s Christian Tragni and Brazil’s Juliana Spinola are the producers of a film that will tell the world the story of the creation of the UN’s first network of musicians committed to sustainability and advancing Agenda 2030 amongst marginalized citizens. The pilot project is being implemented by the UNDP in Rio de Janeiro’s Baixada and will deliver a model for replication by UNDP offices in 166 countries in the developing world.

Rio de Janeiro is the birthplace of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the global action plan composed of 17 goals that were agreed upon by all 193 Members States, entering into effect on 1st January 2016.  Born at the landmark Rio+ 20 Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, the new UN agenda and its 17 Global Goals are an action plan for shifting development patterns towards more equitable and sustainable development that benefits all. With an ethos of leaving no one behind, Agenda 2030 is a clear commitment on behalf of governments to address issues of exclusion and inequality that have hampered development advances to date.  This can only be achieved with the active and effective participation of citizens and civil society organizations who need to play the critical role of pressuring their local and national governments to be more accountable and deliver on their promises.

The documentarists and the UNDP will be producing the film in Belford Roxo, Nova Iguaçu, Duque de Caxias and other cities in the Baixada on 9-25 January 2017. Nova Iguaçu is one of the 13 cities that compose Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan region, referred to as ‘Baixada’ in Portuguese. With a population eight times smaller than Rio de Janeiro, Nova Iguaçu registered more homicides than the capital city, reaching the staggering figure of 1,209 citizens assassinated in 2015.  Duque de Caxias, the largest city of the Baixada with 886,000 people, registered a rate of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants that is almost 2 times higher than Mexico or Haiti and10 times higher than the US.

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The United Nations pilot project with musicians is being implemented by the UNDP’s World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre), a hub for dialogue and action for the promotion of sustainable development which was established in 2013 in Rio as a legacy of the Rio+ 20 Conference.  The Rio+ Centre is one of UNDP’s six global policy centres and is a partnership between UNDP and the Brazilian Government. The implementation of the Baixada pilot project began in June 2016 and has already engaged almost 100 musicians and bands from the Baixada. Some of the actions of this project include workshops on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in the Baixada, training sessions at UNDP in Rio, rehearsals with the youth, production of a promo CD with 5 brand new songs, and a major show at the iconic Odeon Theatre in Cinelândia. The pilot project is being implemented thanks to the support of volunteers, including UN volunteers from Germany, Brazil and the United States, the Italian General Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, and the decisive engagement of the Donana Cultural Centre (Centro Cultural Donana) in Belford Roxo, which hosts the events at the Baixada, including rehearsals and workshops.


The UN Development Programme and the Italian General Consulate in Rio de Janeiro invite the press to follow the production of the groundbreaking film in the Baixada between 15 and 21 January 2017. For security reasons, we request interested media vehicles to contact us as soon as possible to arrange mandatory security briefings, and the visits and trips to the Baixada cities. Two key events happening in the Baixada include: 

  • First Rap Battle on the Sustainable Development Goals at the Casa da Cultura in Belford Roxo, 6 to 8 pm, 19 January (Thursday)
  • Production of grafitti panel with the United Nations emblem and the SDGs at the Muquiço in Guadalupe, Rio de Janeiro, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, 23 January (Monday)

Contact information:

Francisco Filho: or + 55 21 994 243 821

Brenda Sachiko Hada: or + 55 19 997 075 533

Related links:

Rap Battle on the SDGs at the Casa da Cultura in Belford Roxo, Baixada Fluminense

Rap Battle on the SDGs at the Casa da Cultura in Belford Roxo, Baixada Fluminense

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