"Participation: What a Day to End Poverty Can Accomplish"

On July 12th 2017, a side event entitled "Participation: What a Day to End Poverty Can Accomplish" took place on the margins of the High Level Political Forum 2017 - the main UN central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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  1. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is commemorated each year on October 17 at the United Nations and worldwide since its recognition by the 1992 UN General Assembly Resolution 47/196. This International Day finds its origins in the Call to Action launched on October 17, 1987 by Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World. On that day, 100,000 people gathered at the Human Rights Plaza in Paris, France, to honor the victims of extreme poverty and violence and to proclaim that extreme poverty is a violation of human rights.
  2. 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of this first gathering in Paris, the 25th anniversary of the declaration of October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and the centenary of the birth of Joseph Wresinski. To celebrate this auspicious year, a global campaign called “Stop Poverty – All Together in Dignity” invites individuals, communities, organizations and countries to prepare for and celebrate October 17 in 2017 by showing how poverty can be overcome when people join together to uphold the rights of all.
  3. This side event therefore highlighted the power of participation that allow meaningful participation of all in decision-making processes for all, especially of those furthest behind.
  4. The side event was organized by the Permanent Mission of France to the UN, the International Movement ATD Fourth World, UNDP, UN DESA-DSPD, the International Committee for October 17, the NGO Committee on Social Development and the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, and was moderated by Jérôme Longué, Chief of the French Programs at the UN radio.
  5. Speakers from diverse backgrounds were invited to the event, including Ms. Maryann Broxton and Ms. Kimberly Tyre, Human Rights and Anti-Poverty Activists, Ms. Hayet Zeggar, Counsellor from the Permanent Mission of France and Isabelle Pypaert-Perrin, Director General of ATD Fourth World. Powerful testimonies were shared in a respectful atmosphere allowing a rich and meaningful dialogues.
  6. The first to speak, Ms. Maryann Broxton, described the hidden difficulties and discrimination faced by those living on food stamps and other forms of government assistance. She also recounted her meeting with Ms Amina J. Mohammed, now UN Deputy Secretary General and shared the message that those in poverty want to be treated as human beings who have intelligence and knowledge to bring to the table.
  7. Maryann Broxton, 2017 HLPF Side Event - Participation: What a Day to End Poverty Can Accomplish
  8. Ms. Kimberly Tyre went on to reflect on her testimony at the United Nations on October 17th last year. She explained how meaningful it was for her to be able to participate and bring her experience to the table. Her powerful statement ensured her commitment to eradicating poverty and inspiring others like her to speak up for themselves and their communities.
  9. Kimberly Tyre, 2017 HLPF Side Event - Participation: What a Day to End Poverty Can Accomplish
  10. Ms. Zeggar, Counsellor for health and social development at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, underscored the idea that extreme poverty is a human rights issue by giving an example of a French poverty reduction initiative focused on civic rights. She further recalled how participating in October 17 commemorations in France inspired her work.
  11. Hayet Zeggar, 2017 HLPF Side Event - Participation: What a Day to End Poverty Can Accomplish
  12. Backing up the testimonies of Ms. Tyre and Ms. Broxton, Ms. Isabelle Perrin, Director General of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, reiterated how participation is a transformative tool. With the ability to share ideas and be treated with dignity, people living in poverty can be prevented from falling even further behind. On October 17th, she argues, a space is created for those living in poverty to bring their intelligence to the United Nations to become real partners, thinking together about effective and inclusive solutions to end poverty.
  13. Isabelle Pypaert-Perrin, HLPF Side Event - Participation: What a Day to End Poverty Can Accomplish
  14. After a rich exchange with the audience, the side event concluded with agreement on the importance of joining forces. All parts of society need to come together to effectively overcome poverty and ensure that those with first hand experience of poverty are included in the solution.
  15. All are invited to join the Stop Poverty Campaign and sign the Call to Action by clicking the following link:  http://www.atd-fourthworld.org/stop-poverty/ 
  16. Only together can we build a world where we live in peace, free from poverty and fear, and where every human being can achieve his or her full potential.
  17. Stop Poverty All Together in Dignity ATD Fourth World
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