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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector: Bianca Jagger

May 6th, 2010
07:29 PM ET

Bianca Jagger may be best known for her marriage to "Rolling Stones" lead singer, Mick Jagger, but the 60-year-old is also a well-known human rights advocate and social rights campaigner.

Born in Nicaragua, Jagger is also a former actress and even a fashion icon.

Bianca first met Mick Jagger at a "Rolling Stones" concert in 1970 and the pair immediately hit it off. After only nine months, the couple married in a small ceremony in the south of France.

The couple had one daughter together, but after seven years of marriage, Bianca Jagger filed for divorce.

After the pair split, Bianca decided to devote a large portion of her time to social and humanitarian causes and set up her own charity called the "Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation".

Currently, Jagger serves as a Council of Europe Goodwill ambassador and is your Connector of the Day.

You can also follow Jagger on Twitter @BJHRF

Unfortunately Jagger wasn't able to answer all the questions you asked on-air, but luckily, she has agreed to answer them here in our blog.

Here's a look at some of the questions.

Do you think the humanity will manage to reach any of the Millennium Development Goal by 2015? If yes, which one?

Unfortunately, I have serious doubts that Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be reached by 2015. Whilst some progress has been made, in particular with regards to education, we are still a long way from reaching the MDG targets. It is shocking and deplorable that in the 21st century 24,000 children dies every day from preventable causes, such as hunger and diseases. I believe that ending poverty and hunger is an urgent priority. Until today too little has been done to address these issues and few countries have fulfilled their promise.

The failure of world leaders to achieve their pledges is unjustifiable and inexcusable. The MDGs 'are not 'millennium', but are 'minimum' standards rooted in human rights, freedom, equality, sustainability and justice.

In the year 2000, 189 world leaders adopted The Millennium Declaration and made the commitment to "free all men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty" by the year 2015. In 1970 the UN General Assembly pledged that developing countries would commit 0.7 % of their GDPs to Official Development Assistance.

To quote UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon addressing the UN General Assembly on 16 March "the shortfalls have occurred not because the goals are unreachable, or because time is too short. We are off course because of unmet commitments, inadequate resources and a lack of focus and accountability."

As a human rights defender in a world fraught with human rights violations it is extremely difficult to choose to support one or a few individual causes amongst the many worthy causes that are presented to me. The foundation I founded and chair, the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, is a small charity and our resources are limited.

What is the most important message you would want get across?

Today we stand at a crossroads in history. The warnings from our most respected scientists are loud and clear, yet government leaders continue to ignore the scale of the threat. According to most scientists, we have less than a decade left to address the issue of climate change before we reach the 'tipping point,' or point of no return. Climate change touches every part of our lives: peace, security, human rights, poverty, hunger, health, mass migration and economics. It is estimated that climate change accounts for the deaths of over 300,000 people each year and has a serious impact on the lives of a further 325 million. Human security and climate change are inextricably linked.

Too much destruction has been carried out "in the name of progress and development" We need to redefine the meaning of "development". Any development should be sustainable, any project must take into account the needs and aspirations of the local communities and should benefit all sectors of society. As the UN Brundtland Report states, development must "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". Measures of development need to be more holistic. We must ensure that corporations follow through with their pledges to adhere to ethical standards, corporate responsibility and sustainable practice. These principles have to be enforceable not as voluntary measures, but as a legally binding mechanism in international law. Corporate social responsibility is not only about how corporations spend their money, but about how they make it.

I am currently supporting the Kondh tribe's battle to save their livelihoods against Vedanta a powerful British base mining company. Their struggle illustrates the struggle for survival that tribal and indigenous people are facing throughout the world. It brings back memories of what i witnessed in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru among others. The struggle of tribal and indigenous people versus corporations and states, over ancestral land rich in natural resources, is a global issue. Throughout history, indigenous and tribal people have been oppressed and forcefully expelled from their ancestral land, their rights violated with impunity by governments that put the interest of corporations above their survival. This combination of factors has often led them to resort to armed struggle, in order to protect their families, their land, their livelihoods and their culture. Last year in Peru, hundreds of Amazonian Indians were wounded and arrested in clashes over oil and timber.

As citizens of developed rich countries, we have been and still are the main beneficiaries of the economic developments which have led to climate change and have left millions behind, in poverty. I urge political leaders and heads of corporations throughout the world to rise to the challenge of defeating poverty and fighting climate change. As individuals, we must realise the impact of our daily activities on the environment and make choices that contribute to the global effort to fight climate change, whether it is to choose "greener" transport and renewable energy, cut down on air travel, on meat or eat foods that are produced as locally as possible. As citizens, we can also lobby our local and national authorities to take action, adopt courageous environmental policies and fulfil their pledges to fight poverty.

Who is your most admired political figure in American history?

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Martin Luther King and Eleanor Roosevelt

How do you see the impact of the Internet on humanitarian causes?

The Internet is invaluable to humanitarian and human rights causes; it is a powerful tool to give voice to people in remote places. It also plays an important role in the dissemination of information and in raising awareness. I am a firm believer in technology and I use the internet, FaceBook and Twitter to publicise the causes I support. You can follow me at: http://twitter.com/BJHRF

What did you think of your time spent in Montauk ?

I loved Montauk and the time I spent there with my daughter Jade

Why don't you run for office?

I believe that I can be more effective as a human rights defender and a social justice and climate change advocate, than as a politician. If a time came when I thought I could do more as a politician, I would definitely consider running for office.

All the views expressed in the answers are strictly those of Bianca Jagger and do not represent the views of CNN.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Keira

    YEAY! I'm the first one...ha ha!

    My question would be - what do you think is the single most important human rights cause? Is there one cause that precedes them all or do you think they're all interconnected??

    Muchas gracias,


    May 6, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  2. Jurgen R. Brul

    What is your opinion on the current social and humanitarian causes in Nicaragua? What needs to be done to solve the current social and humanitarian causes worldwide?

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    May 7, 2010 at 11:46 am | Reply
  3. Carlos Goya

    The government of Ortega recently signed a presidential decree which would allow him to run for the 2011 presidential elections even if the Constitution of Nicaragua clearly prohibits presidents to run for a second consecutive term. Ortega has systematically attacked the opposition – he shut down congress when it tried to convene to discuss the presidential decree and members of his party – the FSLN – attacked a hotel and injured two congressmen when they tried to meet in there. A couple of days later member of his party also attacked the campaign quarters of an opposition leader. These are just two of the latest examples of the opposition being systematically attached by paid mobs when it tries to protest. These attacks also have the intention of sending a message to the general population which is rapidly becoming afraid to voice its opinions in public much the less, exercise their human right to protest peacefully, for fears of being attacked by members of the ruling FSLN.
    What is your opinion on the current situation of human rights in Nicaragua, more particularly in regards to Nicaraguans being able to have free elections with clear rules and international supervision (which the current government denied on the last municipal elections), and would you be investing your time and the resources of your foundation to help the Nicaraguan people put pressure on the government in order to have free elections?
    Thank you

    Carlos Goya

    May 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  4. justine nmadu

    CNN should not be commenting on what will cause problem for a country why should CNN say that there will be problem between the xtian & muslims becos of jonathan been the new president.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  5. Simon LeGaycok

    Bianca, do you see Mick these days? How many Rolling Stones concerts did you see, and what was the best one? Is it true they asked you to become a member of the band, and you were going to bang your bongo's?

    May 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  6. Carmen Paun

    Do you think the humanity will manage to reach any of the Millennium Development Goal by 2015? If yes, which one?

    May 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  7. Debra Schwartz

    First, more power to you for devoting yourself to helping others!
    Second, I just saw a report on CNN on young 18 yr olds addicted to snorting prescription drugs – the feeling of worthlessness & desperation to the point of attempting suicide was tragic. The girl was so young, seemed intelligent, nice looking – it seems she could do so much with her life. Do or can you also work with disillusioned youth, those on drugs etc. – trying to share with them that they all are valuable and important and they too can contribute to society and help others? It's a very healing and self esteem building project. I thought maybe you could include youth like this in your work – show them how less fortunate so many others are, how lucky they are to have what they have, to use their gifts, & helping others heals ourselves and gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  8. Richard

    What did you think of your time spent in Montauk ?

    May 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  9. Todd Williams

    Your name brings up many memories from my youth, seeing your pictures in books and articles... I can't think of anyone who has put their celebrity status to a more admirable use during the past decades. After reading about your many awards, board seats, and accomplishments, when I hear "Jagger" I think "Mick, Bianca, Human Rights and Justice, and Mick's solo album Goddess in the doorway"... in that order. 🙂

    Thank you for all of your efforts. The world is a better place for them.

    Todd Williams
    Southwick, MA, USA

    May 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  10. Michelle

    Well Carlos Goya makes a good point. I guess to add to his question; when will you, personally, focus your humanitarian efforts on your homeland? We certainly can't expect anyone else to take notice or action if you hail from the very country and still ignore it.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  11. Rob Chas

    Who's better, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

    May 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  12. tumalaca

    Why do you still use the "Jagger" surname? Is it for connecting the humanitarian issues with the Rolling Stones?

    May 12, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  13. alexandros leandros

    Dear Bianca Jagger
    I would like you to request the Turkish government to respect the religious rights of CHristians who live in Turkey, and are even tURKISH CITIZENS TO freely worship in Turkey..
    To allow the Greek Orthodox believers to re-open their historic Seminary , to be given back properties and land that were illegally usurped from them by the Turkish State and finally to resacralize Agia Sofia – the most beauteous Christian Churc on the planet into what it was built for a place of Christian worship.
    God bless youy

    May 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  14. Pollock

    Thank you for your work...a true world citizen.

    May 12, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  15. Gaylon

    As an advocate for humanitarian causes and to yet be viewed as a fashion icon, do you ever have conflicts with people's perception of you? Are there any people who don't take you seriously?

    May 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  16. Pauline Mattei

    What do you want me to change? I am so tired of that kind of life inflicted to me while I am a quiet person and a true Christian?
    What do you want me to hide???
    Thank you so much!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  17. Maria

    How do you see the impact of the Internet on the humanitarian causes?

    PS. By the way Rob Chas, good question.

    May 12, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  18. holland jones

    What date did the oil rig explode in the gulf that is causing the oil spill crisis?

    May 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  19. d. k.

    I knew several people who grew up with Jade in NYC. I am now still single living in London. I always thought Jade was very interesting and lovely... and I would love to take her on a date!!! Can you connect us? 😉 (Am half teasing of course). Well done on deeply impressive philanthropic work over these past many years!! DK

    May 12, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  20. Chocoshake from Peru

    Whats you're first reaction when someone asks "so tell me about Mick"?

    May 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  21. Greg

    Forget Mick. After all your experiences, tell us about life. What is the most important message you would want get across?

    May 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  22. Sharon/Baby Boomer Queen

    Hello Bianca ,

    You look great.

    I was wondering why you weren't on hand for Haiti? There was a lot going on and not all famous people made a big hoopla when they went in to help.Did I miss you or where you there?

    ~The Baby Boomer Queen~

    May 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  23. CV

    Sharon, maybe Bianca was at a Rolling Stones concert at the time.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:43 am | Reply
  24. Catherine

    Who is your most admired political figure in American history? What is your favorite political film?

    Please forive me for bringing this up because I do not mean to diminish your individual achievments, but I have to say it: I discovered you through the Rolling Stones when I was 13 years old in 1979 and have always admired your class, unwavering character and fearlessness in the face of cynics.
    PS. Do you realize how many great rock and roll songs you inspired?
    You are respected by many Stones fans.

    May 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  25. Vivien Vernon

    Bianca, the work you have done over the years is truly worthy of a nobel prize. You give a voice to those who have no voice, you care about those the world chooses to ignor. Great work, wonderful humanity. I thank you on behalf of the thousands of people you have given your heart and soul to champion. A true humaniatarian and a great human being, why don't you run for office. Britain would be much better of with you in the HOC! Think about it!

    May 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  26. marcus

    What are the advantages and disadvantages for you leaving the acting and fashion world into humanitarian work

    May 18, 2010 at 10:59 am | Reply
  27. CharleyR

    I think that the work you are doing on indigenous rights is brilliant – not enough is heard about this really important issue. These people are some of the poorest and the most marginalised in the world.

    We must challenge the power of multinational corporations. The story of the Kondh people in your film just shows how these corporations behave and what they think they can get away with. I hope you manage to help stop Vedanta!

    May 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  28. Bob Green

    I agree completely with CharleyR. Multinational corporations seem to be able to whatever they want in the name of profit. These big companies earn billions of dollars profit every year at the expense of the world'd most vulnerable. It's up to governments and people to stop them. Come on people, let's step up!

    May 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Reply

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