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Answering the Call of October 17 to End Poverty: A Path Toward Peaceful and Inclusive Societies

October 17, 2017, marked the 25th anniversary of the declaration of October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.


  1. Individuals from all walks of life, including activists directly affected by poverty and people standing in solidarity with them, UN high-level officials, Member States and NGO representatives, gathered at the United Nations to celebrate this special day to #StopPoverty.
  2. The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty dates back to the first Call of Action launched on October 17, 1987. ATD Fourth World's founder, Joseph Wresinski, along with more than 100,000 people, gathered at the Human Rights Plaza in Paris to honor the victims of extreme poverty, violence, and hunger and to proclaim that extreme poverty is a violation of human rights.
  3. Inspired by this first Call to Action, the United Nations adopted October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in 1992 through the UN General Assembly resolution 47/196, making it the 25th anniversary of its commemoration this year.
  4. With My Own Two Hands | Song Around The World | ATD Fourth World | Playing For Change
  5. The commemoration started with UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, delivering a video message for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, where he emphasized how we should join hands to stop poverty altogether in dignity:
  6. International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - Message from the UN Secretary-General
  7. Participation of people living in poverty has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning. This year, delegates coming from all over the world shared their experience, intelligence and struggles to keep their families together, to strive to overcome the obstacles, no matter what, and, to face the shame and humiliation related to discrimination and stigmatization. The commemoration can be watched here:
  8. Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies
  9. They shared how, despite all odds, they still do their best to lead a life in dignity, for themselves and their communities.
  10. Mr. Seamus Neville "Everywhere in the world, extreme poverty separates children from their parents" Watch his speech here.
  11. Alex Begay "We are struggling to live up to our hopes, hoping for peace." Alex's testimony can be watched here.
  12. Ms. Angélique Jeanne "Enough is enough. We are not to be blamed. We are people who resist and who want to build peace.” Angélique's speech is available here.
  13. Mr. Mahamadou Kone "Seeking our essence as human beings is not a personal quest but a collective one. Our humanity rises from a common base, a common dignity."
    Mr. Adrien Delva "There is no risk in fighting extreme poverty, we just have to reach out to others to build peace. And all of us will benefit." Their joint testimony can be viewed here.
  14. The voices and experiences were heard by the Ambassador of France, François Delattre, and the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United Nations, Yemdaogo Eric Tiare, as well as by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. All reacted to these messages of struggles and hopes transcending borders and nationalities.