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43.7 Million People Break Guinness World Record for Stand Up Speak Out on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
UPDATE: Over 43.7 million people, in 127 countries have broken the Guinness World
(24 October 2007, http://www.standagainstpoverty.org)
School kids in Soweto, South Africa, announce new world record. (PRNewsFoto/Global Call to Action Against Poverty)
NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES
NEW YORK, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 38.7 million people, in 110 countries have broken the Guinness World Record -- set last year at 23.5 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."
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with the Government of Thailand marked the 20th Anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in ceremonies at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.
After the official ceremony in the UN Conference Centre, Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, H.E. Khunying Dhipavadee Meksawan and Gwi-Yeop Son, UNDP Resident Coordinatior and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand, led over 1,000 UN staff, Thai government officials and the public to form a human chain from Makawan Bridge between Government House and the United Nations compound to stand up and speak out against poverty and inequality and demand that governments around the world keep their promises to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Last year, a record of 23.5 million people took part worldwide. The number is expected to double this year, setting another new Guinness World record.
The conference occurs at the halfway point between the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) declaration of halving the proportion of the world's poor and hungry people by 2015. While the world is on track to reach this target at the global level, many developing countries are not and millions of poor people are at risk of being left behind.
Asia-Pacific Making Progress in Meeting the MDGs But Falls Behind Other Regions in Some Target Areas, Says New Report
The report - "The Millennium Development Goals: Progress in Asia and the Pacific 2007 " - states that the region is well on track and ahead of its peers in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce extreme poverty by half, attain universal education, and achieve gender parity in education by the target year 2015.
The region's greatest challenges lie in addressing the issues of child mortality, malnutrition, improving maternal health and providing safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, says the report - a joint publication by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report was launched simultaneously today in Bangkok and Manila.