[Dateline: New York | Author: iSeek]
Nearly 2 percent of the world’s population stood up last Friday, breaking last year’s Guinness World Record of 43 million participants in the Stand Up Against Poverty campaign. Organizers announced on Wednesday that 116 million people from 131 countries participated in 2008.
Organizers report that people gathered at a huge variety of events across the globe to tell world leaders that the financial crisis is not an excuse for breaking the promises they made at the Millennium Summit in the year 2000 to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Read on for a summary of a few events organized by UN staff in Africa . Details about events in Bangkok , Geneva and New York were already shared in an article posted here last Friday .
Five thousand people participated in the Burundi ’s norther Kirundo province on Friday during the ceremonies of joint commemoration of the International Day of Eradication of Poverty and the World Food Day. The ceremonies were hosted by Burundi ’s Vice-President who, before delivering his speech, invited the huge attending population to Stand Up for one minute and show up their commitment to fight against Poverty.
Also during the ceremonies, UN Information Centre (UNIC) staff distributed one thousand copies of a booklet containing information about the MDGs in Kirundi and French.
The UNIC in Pretoria organized several events, mobilizing nearly 3,000 people. In addition, an estimated 20,000 fans attending four South Africa 's Premier Soccer League matches also stood up. Since the matches were broadcast live on SABC television, the TV presenters explained to the viewers the purpose of the Stand Up campaign.
UNIC Pretoria staff visited three separate schools in Johannesburg to conduct the Stand Up campaign among students. The schools are located in the Yeoville suburb of Johannesburg , which is diverse and cosmopolitan, with a significant population of immigrants from neighbouring African countries.
UNIC staff explained the MDGs and the purpose of the Stand Up and Take Action campaign, read the MDG Pledge, conducted the Stand Up exercise and took questions from students. UNIC also distributed T-shirts, pamphlets and posters to the students. In one instance, a simple quiz on MDGs and the UN in general was conducted and winners awarded T-shirts.
Additional information about UNIC activities related to the Stand Up campaign is available in the latest issue of DPI Updates.