|© UNICEF video|
|Staff from UN agencies in New York joined together to support the Stand Up against Poverty campaign.|
By Kun Li
NEW YORK, USA, 16 October 2006 – Millions of people around the world have joined together to ‘Stand Up against Poverty’ – an effort to remind governments that they must keep their promises to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and eradicate extreme poverty.
Launched by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, Stand Up against Poverty is also a challenge to set an official Guinness World Record for the “greatest number of people to stand up for a given cause, at multiple locations, within 24 hours.”
Since yesterday, Stand Up campaigns have been held around the world by people of all ages, races and religions. Among the participants were children from Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. In tsunami-stricken Aceh Province, Indonesia, schoolchildren also stood to express their commitment to the fight against poverty.
In New York City, Stand Up events were held at Times Square yesterday and UN headquarters today.
No more broken promises
“We are the first generation in human history that can put an end to human poverty,” Millennium Campaign Executive Coordinator Eveline Herfkens said today. “We have the resources, the know-how and we even have the promises made by world leaders right here at the UN in 2000.
“The record we really want to break is a record of broken promises,” she continued. “It’s time for world leaders to keep the promise that they pledged to the world.”
The Stand Up campaign will not end with the closing time set for the Guinness World Record. More actions are to continue as part of a broader effort organized by the Global Call to Action against Poverty, an international coalition.
The official result of the Guinness World Record attempt will be announced tomorrow, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
“The challenge to stand up against poverty has captured the imagination of people around the world,” said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who participated in the Times Square event. “We are standing up for the Millennium Development Goals. We are standing up to hold leaders to their promises. We are standing up because until we meet the goals, we will not give up.”