Friday, October 17, 2008

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Roundup

Today, October 17th, is recognized as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Established by a declaration in the United Nations general assembly in 1992. But it has roots in a demonstration in Paris on this date in 1987.

Were getting a lot of items on protests and marches that are going on today. So, here is our first roundup of the events.

First, a special stone in Dublin, as told by Charlie Taylor of the Irish Times.

A commemorative stone to mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been unveiled in Dublin today.

The stone, which is situated near to the Famine memorial on Customs House Quay, was unveiled by Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello.

The commemorative stone was commissioned by Dublin City Council and Dublin Docklands Authority and is inscribed with words from Joseph Wresinski, founder of the international human rights organisation ATD Fourth World.

The words - “Whenever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights are respected is our solemn duty” - were first inscribed on a commemorative stone laid on October.

17th, 1987, on the Human Rights Plaza in Paris where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had been signed.

Since then the same words have been used on more than 30 similar commemorative pieces around the world including the UN headquarters in New York and the European Parliament building in Brussels.

Next, we travel to Kenya. Emmanuel Kola of the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation give us the details.

Kenya joins millions of people around the world on Friday in marking the World Poverty Eradication Day.

The campaign whose key message is ‘Stand Up and Take Action against poverty' will be marked at Garissa Primary School in North Eastern province.

Minister of State for planning, National development and Vision 2030, Wycliffe Oparanya, the guest of honor at the event, will share the governments' strategies to eradicate poverty in the country where about 46 per cent of the population is living in absolute poverty.

As the Kenya marks this day, Focus will be placed on the biting poverty facing people living in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands- ASALs and the food insecurity currently being experienced in Kenya and East Africa.

With all the trouble in South Africa lately, the demonstrations there will be a little angrier. This protest is detailed by the South African Daily News

About a hundred people gathered on Friday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against poverty.

Protesters called, among other things, for an end to poverty and VAT on basic foodstuffs to be cut.

Co-chair of the global call for action against poverty (GCAP) Kumi Naidoo, said it was time for government to act decisively to eradicate poverty and instead of spending millions on border control it should rather spend on health care, water, and sanitation.

The GCAP is a civil society alliance comprising NGOs and trade unions.

Finally for this first roundup, Thailand. Where the UN and government joined in a walk. As reported by IRIN.

The UN and Thai government went walking in support of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October, with the deputy interior minister, Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, and the representative of the UN Children’s Fund Thailand country office, Tomoo Hozumi, joining more than 2,000 people in Ayutthaya Province to raise poverty awareness.

About 10,000 Ayutthaya citizens from every social sector joined the opening ceremony at the city hall after the walk. The two representatives made pledges to fight poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“We tried to adopt his Majesty the King’s initiative on sustainable development and emphasised three main issues: encouraging people to save, providing jobs for them, and making them help one another in solving poverty,” Touchrich Tanaluck, chief community development officer of Ayutthaya, told IRIN. “We believe this policy will help us achieve our goal in the ‘180 Day Roadmap for Poverty Reduction’ campaign.”

The campaign was launched on 15 August 2008 by former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s government to raise the annual income of almost 180,000 Thais who live below the national poverty line through decentralisation. Each province has its own policy and campaign to achieve its goal.

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