Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Remarks at the ‘Stand Up’ Event on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 17 October 2007

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you all for coming to stand up against poverty.

Today, we join millions of people around the world in standing up for the Millennium Development Goals -- our common vision for building a better world in the twenty-first century.

This is a vision where all children complete their elementary education; a world where people have access to safe drinking water, and families are protected from deadly diseases like malaria; a world where nations work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming; a world where people are no longer condemned to a life of extreme and appalling poverty.

We have just passed the midpoint in the race to reach the Goals by the target date of 2015. Our global scorecard is mixed. Some regions -- particularly sub-Saharan Africa -- are not on track.

That is why we must redouble our efforts and form a true partnership for development -- a partnership of rich and poor countries alike.

It is why today, we join hands in a collective effort with those living in poverty -- one which brings in civil society, the private sector, and individuals around the world.

It is why, today, tens of millions of people are making their voices heard. They are sending messages or signing petitions 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 as well as developed countries, in support of the Millennium Development Goals.

On this twentieth International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us all stand up. Let us demonstrate the political will required to end the scourge of poverty once and for all.

[The Secretary-General, President of the General Assembly, ATD Fourth World Delegate Adonis Salas and Adina Rom, a youth delegate, shared the reading of the following pledge:]

We are standing now with millions around the world on this symbolic day, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to show solidarity with people living in poverty everywhere and to renew our commitment to the fight against extreme poverty and inequality.

We are standing because every day 50,000 people die needlessly as a result of extreme poverty, and the gap between rich and poor is getting wider.

We are standing to call on leaders –- from both rich and poor countries -– to honour their promises to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

We are standing here at the United Nations because we pledge to step up our efforts to build support for the MDGs, and to keep the campaign to end extreme poverty at the heart of our work.

Today, and every day, we will stand up and speak out against poverty. We are millions of voices standing in solidarity to say: Keep the Promise, end poverty now.