14 October 2005

Soccer Goalpost to Raise Awareness of Millennium Development Goals among Young Visitors to VIC

United Nations Observes International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

VIENNA, 14 October 2005 (UN Information Service) -- On 17 October, the United Nations will observe the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is marked annually on this date. The theme this year is "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Empowering the poorest of the poor".

The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The target is to halve the proportion of people living on less than US$1 per day and of those suffering from hunger, by the year 2015. Currently, extreme poverty is still a daily reality for currently more than 1 billion people who subsist on less than US$1 per day, and more than 800 million people have too little to eat to meet their daily energy needs, according to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2005. At the 2005 World Summit, held in New York in September 2005, world leaders have expressed strong and unambiguous commitment, in donor and developing nations alike, to achieve the MDGs by 2015. The leaders agreed to adopt, by 2006, comprehensive national development strategies to achieve that development agenda.

"Those commitments represent a breakthrough in the fight against poverty -- promises that we must all work to ensure are translated into concrete actions, especially for the world's poorest people", said United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. "Let us resolve to build on the momentum that now exists. Let us work in partnerships between rich and poor to improve the opportunities of all human beings to build better lives".

To mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Austrian NGO Jugend Eine Welt - Don Bosco Aktion Austria will display an almost life-size soccer Millennium Goalpost in the Vienna International Centre (VIC). The exhibit aims to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals among the 50,000 children and young people who visit the VIC every year. "By finding a creative approach through the wooden Millennium Goalpost, we hope to engage the attention of children and youth for the MDGs," said Erwin Hinterholzer, coordinator of the campaign "Austria Scores Millennium Goals". As an ambassador of the MDGs, promoting the Goals as part of play, Jugend Eine Welt is also selling Millennium Goal balls, which are produced by fair trade. The proceeds from their sales go to international education projects.

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The Millennium Goalpost can be viewed as part of a guided tour of the VIC.

For information on guided tours contact:

UNIS Visitors Service
Telephone: +43 1 260 60 3328
E-mail: tours@unvienna.org

For information on the campaign "Austria Scores Millennium Goals", contact:

Erwin Hinterholzer
Jugend Eine Welt - Don Bosco Aktion Austria
Telephone: +43 1 87839-519
E-mail : projektservice@jugendeinewelt.at
Homepage: www.jugendeinewelt.at