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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
Join one percent of the world's population and take a stand against poverty
16 October 2008 / 03:05

New York | Author:  iSeek

Stand up web site Poverty is the focus of two major events on Friday:  the annual Stand Up campaign mobilizing millions of people around the world in support of the Millennium Development Goals and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  In New York, Broadway stars will be on hand to draw attention to the issues.

New York
The Headquarters Stand Up event will include performances by the cast of the Broadway musical, A Tale of Two Cities , based on Charles Dickens’ novel about poverty and inequality in pre-Revolutionary France.  Staff, delegates and NGO attendees should gather on the lawn near the Peace Bell at 10:45 a.m. 

Also participating will be President of the General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, UNDP Associate Administrator Ad Melkert, and USG for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka.

Students from the United Nations International School will also be attending.

A Tale of Two Cities on Broadway A discount is being offered to Stand Up participants, which reflects a savings of up to $41 on select performances between now and 23 December 2008 (see rules below).  To take advantage of the offer, visit or call 212-947-8844 and use code TCPBX78. Additional information is available at the Hospitality Desk in the Secretariat Lobby. 

The UN Headquarters event is co-organized by the UN Department of Public Information and the Millennium Campaign.

Later, at 1:15, the official observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will take place in Conference Room 2 (programme).

The theme of the day is "Human Rights and Dignity of People Living in Poverty".

One of the highlights will be the unveiling of a new “We can end poverty” stamp commemorating the Day and the end of the first Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.  The stamp will be presented by Mr. Robert Gray of the UN Postal Administration.

Also participating with be Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs,  the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, the Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Michel Kafando, Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, UN Independent Expert on the question of Human Rights and Extreme Poverty, and musician Chris Trapper.
The observance will also feature testimonies on behalf of people living in poverty and statements by two NGOs that focus on human rights issues, ATD Fourth World and Amnesty International.

An invitation-only Round Table dialogue “Turning rhetoric into action – Building effective partnerships to combat poverty and Exclusion” will be held at 3 p.m. in Conference room 8. Please contact Ms. Renata Kaczmarska at if you would like to attend.                              

The afternoon events are being organized by the Department of Economic and Socail Affairs.  

Around the world
Other events are being organized by Information Centres in Australia, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Congo, Russian Federation, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey and the United States. 

A few selected events in additional locations are outlined below.

Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates
In collaboration with Bahrain’s Youth Organization-Al-Shabeeba and The Art of Living, the UNIC will launch the Stand Up against Poverty campaign (SUTA) in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The initiative is mobilizing government, members of the private sector, civil society participants and professional unions. 

The campaign will mobilize religious leaders to devote part of Friday prayers, sermons and meditations to the Stand Up campaign. Similar movements will be undertaken by Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, and other communities in the region.
A design created especially for the campaign will be carried on giant billboards and posters throughout malls, public areas and roads and streets of Bahrain. T-shirts and other accessories will be produced with the same design.
A large popular gathering will take place on 19 October at the main open air central court in Bahrain where thousands of people will stand up and make a pledge against poverty.  Diplomatic missions, government, civil society, educational institutions, private sector representatives and media will attend the event.

Across the country more than 10,000 individuals are expected to participate in various activities for the Stand Up campaign. The main event will be on Friday, 17 October, in the province of Ayutthaya and will be attended by the Prime Minister.

In Thailand, at least 180,000 people living below the national poverty line are expected to visit poverty reduction “clinics” – information centres set up by the Ministry of Interior, aimed at encouraging domestic and individual savings, health promotion, and empowerment of the poor. 

This year's Stand Up event is jointly organized by the 17 UN agencies and programmes in Bonn together with German foreign broadcaster Deutsche Welle and Deutsche Post. The event will take place on Friday, 17 October at 11.30 a.m. in front of the UN Campus. A group photo is to be taken in the form of the numbers "2015" to point to the short amount of time remaining to implement the Millennium Development Goals. It is expected that several hundred staff members from the UN, Deutsche Welle and Deutsche Post will participate.

The UNIC in Australia has been working closely with the Make Poverty History Coalition to facilitate the country’s Stand Up campaign. Stand Up toolkits have been distributed to all public schools across Australia. Students nationwide and their parents have been encouraged to send text messages on their mobile phones to express solidarity for the campaign. A free public concert will also be held at Federation Square in Melbourne.

In Bangladesh, the UNIC in Dhaka is organizing a Peoples Forum on MDGs with the participation of popular singers. Youth groups are expected to attend the music performance and express solidarity with for campaign.  Also planned is a rally and a meeting at educational institutions.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has organized an Experiences in Social Innovationcontest, supported by the Kellogg Foundation.

"Social innovation is a privileged tool people have to solve their problems," said Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC Executive Secretary. An array of social entrepreneurs from the region has demonstrated this with income-generating projects based on sustainable development models.

Additional information and examples are available in a detailed press release

The UN Information Centre in Yaounde, in collaboration with UNDP Cameroon, is focusing its events on the Millennium Development Goal Two: Universal Primary Education for all. An estimated 5,000 pupils from 10 schools across the nation will participate in an event on Friday. On Sunday, a “Walk in Support of MDGs: Stand Up, Take Action” is expected to attract 1,000 participants who represent government, NGOs, civil society, media and the UN system.

At United Nations headquarters in Vienna, staff of the Vienna-based Organizations, members of the diplomatic community and civil society representatives will join visitors on 17 October for a Stand Up event held in the Visitor Centre of the Vienna International Centre in conjunction with a celebration of the Visitor Centre’s tenth anniversary. All guided tours at the Vienna International Centre on 17 October will also participate in the Stand Up campaign.

About the Stand Up Campaign
As previously explained, the Stand Up initiative, led by the UN Millennium Campaign in partnership with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, hopes to mobilize one percent of the world’s population, more than 67 million people, as a way to send a clear message of support for the Millennium Development Goals and breaking the Guinness World Record.   

“The global movement in support of the Millennium Development Goals is growing, and on October 17-19 more than one percent of the people on earth will send a clear message to their leaders that they will no longer stay seated while promises to end extreme poverty remain unfulfilled,” said Salil Shetty, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign. “The United Nations community’s participation in this event is critical to show that we intend to hold world leaders accountable for the promises they made when they signed the Millennium Declaration in the year 2000.”
According to organizers, the global movement in support of the Millennium Development Goals is growing. They believe this is the first generation with the power to end poverty, and hope citizens of the world will no longer stay seated in the face of poverty and the broken promises to end it.

About the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
The Day was established by the General Assembly in December 1992 in a resolution which invites all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution (A/RES/47/196).

In a message issued for the day, the Secretary-General said, “Our efforts to eradicate poverty must pay close attention to respect for human rights and the dignity of all. They must go beyond basic material needs and address discrimination and inequality. That means ensuring that all poor people have access to the resources they need - land, capital, knowledge and skills – to escape poverty. It means empowering the poor to effectively participate in decision-making and other activities that directly affect their lives” (full message). 

He went on to say that “Current economic uncertainties make this task even more challenging, but also even more important. Rising food and fuel prices, and the global financial crisis, are threatening to negate the progress made to reduce poverty and hunger in many parts of the world.”

For more information on poverty as an issue of human rights and human rights as a tool to eradicate poverty see the report of the Secretary-General on the Observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/61/308).


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