President reads out Stand Up pledge; spotlight on poverty

KATHMANDU: More than four hundred people including ministers, Constituent Assembly members, the diplomatic corps, UN agency heads, media and civil society gathered at President Dr Rama Baran Yadav’s office at Shital Niwas where he read out the Stand Up pledge.

Those gathered at Shital Niwas were invited to STAND UP while the President read the pledge against poverty: “We are standing up today to express solidarity with people all over the world to fight against poverty and inequality. We want an end to poverty and inequality. We want to create a society where mothers don’t die while giving birth. Children will have the right to quality education.

No one will die due to diseases. Overall environment, justice and sustainable development will be ensured by conservation and proper use of natural resources.

The decisions made by the policy makers will not be for their personal gain but for the benefit of the poor and marginalized people,” he said. He added: “We are committed to building a just society through a new constitution. Let’s all commit to achieve millennium development goals (MDGs) not only for today but for everyday.”

Speaking on behalf of the government of Nepal, National Planning Commission (NPC) vice-chairman Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada reiterated the government’s commitment to end poverty in the country. He said that the government is making efforts to streamline poverty alleviation in the national development planning process in order to meet the MDGs.

On the occasion, resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN System in Nepal Robert Piper addressed the gathering and highlighted the conscientious efforts of the UN system in adding value to the Government of Nepal’s efforts in meeting the MDGs.

“The UN country team from its side is working across all of the MDGs. This includes activities that vary from food assistance, support for the education sector, programmes to support the elimination of gender-based violence, training of mid-wives and attendants, employment and income generating projects, distribution of anti-viral drugs as well as support for the upgrading of small towns and slums,” he said.

In another event in Tundikhel — the open theatre, eight Constituent Assembly members representing all parties, read the Stand Up pledge and proved that some issues are beyond and above politics. Around 5000 people enjoyed a musical programme while urging their leaders to keep the promise of achieving the MDGs.

This is the fourth year that ‘Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!’ mobilisation is taking place from October 16 to 18. Millions of people across the globe will call on world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the MDGs.

Coinciding with International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, this mobilization recorded participation by 116.9 million people in 2008, the majority from poor countries, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilisation of human beings in recorded history.