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Friday, October 19, 2007

Standing Up Against Poverty

Over 38.7 million people,in 110 countries have broken the Guinness World Record—set last year at23.5 million—for the largest number of people to "Stand Up Against Poverty" in 24 hours. The "Stand Up and Speak Out" record attempt took place over 16th and 17th October and was jointly organised by the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) and the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) with a wide range of other partners. The challenge saw millions of people physically and intentionally standing up against poverty, inequality and in support of the Millennium Development Goals. They spoke out to demand a more urgent political response to the growing crisis of global poverty.

United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who led a stand up action at UN Headquarters in New York, said, "Today tens of millions of people are making their voices heard by standing up and speaking out against poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals. They are sending messages that call on their leaders to keep their promises. They are calling for the actions of citizens to be matched by the actions of Governments, in developing and developed countries alike, to demonstrate the political will required to end the scourge of poverty once and for all."

For 24 hours from 9pm GMT on the 16th of October, people around the world from all walks of life came together in their schools, streets,market places, in front of government buildings and local councils, in work places and houses of worship, at sports and cultural events and at public landmarks to demonstrate their frustration that we still live in a world where 50,000 people die daily from preventable causes. The mass mobilisation provided a platform for global civil society seeking more active involvement in the current aid architecture debate, debt cancellation processes, trade negotiations and public accountability monitoring. The largest numbers of people who took part in this mobilisation came from developing countries. Visit for a full list of events from around the world.

(Photo Credits: PRNewsFoto/Global Call to Action Against Poverty)