World bid to break another Guinness record

KATHMANDU: After a year in which the progress on eradicating global poverty has actually reversed, millions of people will come together again across continents, cultures and time zones next week to tell their governments in no uncertain terms what they want them to do: End Poverty Now.

The citizens will gather at events across the globe on October 16-18 as part of ‘Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!’ to demand that world leaders achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — a set of promises to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes by 2015.

In a sign of the massive global demand for the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals, last year more than 116 million people participated in ‘Stand UpTake Action, End Poverty Now!’, shattering the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history.

The deadline for world leaders to fulfil the Millenium Development Goals is 2015

In Nepal, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav will read out

a Stand Up Pledge with

members of the Constituent Assembly at an event

organized by the National Planning Commission and UN in Nepal at the President’s official residence.

The president’s address

will be broadcast live on national television.

This will be followed by a concert hosted by the Millennium Campaign and Art of Living, where thousands of people are expected to gather in a large open-air theatre in the heart of Kathmandu on October 16 to Stand Up for peace and reduction of poverty in Nepal.

The concert will feature

folk songs, religious songs

set to rock music tunes and performances by some of Nepal’s top singers.

“With just six years left until the deadline by which heads of state have pledged to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes, ‘Stand Up’ will be a stark reminder that citizens will not accept excuses

for governments breaking promises to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens,” said Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign.

“This year’s mobilization will place particular emphasis on telling world leaders that their track record on women’s rights, maternal mortality and hunger is unacceptable. Citizens refuse to accept the fact that 70 per cent of the people living in poverty are women and children and that 500,000 women continue to die annually in the process of giving life. They are demanding urgent action from their leaders.”

“Millions of people are standing up against poverty, while politicians are sitting on their hands,” said Adelaide Sosseh, Co-Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) based in The Gambia.

“The combined effects of the economic, climate and food crises are affecting people of all ages and stations in life, in all countries — especially women — but those already living in poverty are the hardest-hit. Given the amounts found to bail out banks in just a year, we know that the resources are not lacking. It’s this lack of political will to tackle poverty that remains the biggest motivation behind Stand Up participation.”

This year, for the first time, organizers will take advantage of the awesome power and reach of digital technology to make mobilization and engagement possible online.

The UN Millennium Campaign has partnered with Skype and Ustream, the

leading live online video platform that enables anyone to broadcast to a global audience of unlimited size.

The unique partnership will bridge technologies in order to connect the world in conversation about the most important issues facing our generation.

On October 12-15, in

the lead-up to the mobilization, former Irish President Mary Robinson and African entertainers Femi Kuti

and Angelique Kidjo will be amongst a group of high

profile decision makers and cultural celebrities.

The celebrities will be participating in a 30-minute

conversation with ordinary

citizens around the world

to discuss poverty and its

root causes.

For the first time ever,

the Skype calls will be broadcast live on Facebook,

thanks to technology provided by Ustream.

Viewers will be encouraged to start their own conversations about poverty and its root causes on these powerful social networking platforms.