[Bangkok, Geneva, New York | Author: iSeek]
Friday’s Stand Up against Poverty events were a success, thanks to the hard work of UN staff around the globe who joined millions of people in calling on world leaders to keep their promises to end extreme poverty by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals.
If you didn’t get a chance to participate, there’s still time as this year’s event goes through the weekend. Additional details are on the Stand Up web site.
iSeek received the following dispatches and photographs from UN duty stations who took part in Stand Up activites on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the theme of which was "Human Rights and Dignity of People Living in Poverty".
Bangkok’s event, held in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok, began with a walk against poverty led by the province’s governor, Mr. Preecha Kamolbutr, in which more than 10,000 people from all sections of Thai society took part.
The walk culminated in a rally where local and national Thai government officials signed a promise committing them to further action in efforts to reduce poverty at the provincial and local levels. There are approximately 5.4 million people in Thailand living below the national poverty level, the threshold set by the government for having sufficient food and other basic necessities for survival.
The officials were then joined by Thailand’s Deputy Interior Minister, Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, and the UN Resident Coordinator a.i., Tomoo Hozumi.
The event – organized by the UN Millennium Campaign and the UN Country Team, in partnership with the Thai Ministry of Interior – was one among thousands of similar events taking place throughout Thailand.
The day was marked at Geneva’s Palais des Nations at an event organized by UNIS Geneva in collaboration with the non-governmental Organization ATD Fourth World.
In his remarks, UNOG Director-General, Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze, stated that the observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty served to emphasize that poverty is a global challenge that affects countries, communities and individuals everywhere and called for a global response to solve the problem.
People living in poverty and their representatives also gave testimonies on the difficulties they face socially, culturally and economically every day.
A related video was shown to the participants. There were over 100 people in attendance, made up of representatives from the diplomatic corps, NGOs, journalists and staff.
Several hundred New York staff, delegates, NGO attendees and UN International School students braved the wind on the lawn near the Peace Bell to recite the Stand Up pledge and hear performances by the cast of the new Broadway musical, A Tale of Two Cities.
The Broadway cast told iSeek that participating in an event at the UN that aims to eliminate poverty around the world has been the highlight of the project since they started work on the musical two years ago. For the star of the show, James Barbour, the Stand Up event was "spectacular". Being at the UN gave the artists hope that "our collective adversities" can be overcome," and made them realize that "it takes a collective effort" to respond to the world's universal needs.
Theatre-goers attending the Broadway show this weekend will also be asked to participate by standing up before the curtain rises.
Also participating was the 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.
Previously on iSeek