13 October 2009


Stand Up and Take Action: October 16th-18th, 2009

A Weekend of Global Mobilization Against Poverty and Inequality

VIENNA, 13 October (UN Information Service) - The fourth annual "Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!" mobilization will take place from October 16th to 18th this year, when millions of people across the globe call on world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Coinciding with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, this mobilization recorded participation by 116.9 million people in 2008, the majority from poor countries, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history.

With just six years left until the 2015 deadline by which world leaders have pledged to achieve the MDGs, people around the globe are demanding that their leaders deliver on the promises they made in the year 2000 to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes. The MDG commitments related to women's empowerment - including the promise to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters by the year 2015 - have seen the least progress. Women have been especially hard hit by the devastating impacts of the financial, food and climate crises, as women and children constitute more than 70 percent of those living in poverty.

In keeping with this urgency, this year's mobilization will have a specific thematic focus on women, and will be accompanied by actions in more than 131 countries calling on leaders to eradicate hunger, end maternal mortality and ensure women's rights. Some event organizers will also use the mobilization to influence global decisions at the UN Conferences on Climate Change and the MDGs.

Thousands of legislators - including Parliamentarians, Mayors, Senators, Ministers and Heads of State - are expected to be reached through the mobilization this year. Millions of people will come together across the world to remind their elected leaders to give the highest priority to the MDGs in local and national policies, plans and budgets. Events planned include rallies and concerts, gatherings in school assemblies and town halls, delegations visiting politicians and mass SMS campaigns.


Pupils from several Vienna schools will join United Nations staff members at the Vienna International Centre to participate in this year's event and add their voices to the millions Standing Up Against Poverty around the globe. On Friday 16 October at noon participants will be invited by UNIS Director Maher Nasser to recite the Stand Up pledge and to tie ribbons into a symbolic knot to remind world leaders of the promises made at the Millennium Summit in 2000.

The Austrian non-governmental organization and platform for development and humanitarian aid Global Responsibility, with the support of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, will organize an event at the Vienna Museumsquartier on 17 October, featuring the Brazilian musician Celia Mara, SambAttac and the Austrian hip-hop artist Skero (Texta), calling for action from world leaders and governments to meet their promises and show their support for ending extreme poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. For more information on this event, visit: http://www.globaleverantwortung.at/start.asp?ID=229969


The Hungarian Model UN Student Association will be organizing a Stand Up event at the Corvinus University in Budapest.


The non-governmental platform Youth Council of Slovakia (RMS), is organizing Stand Up events with the support of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. Ten high schools in Bratislava, Žilina and Sered, and 500 students aged 15 - 19 have already registered with the RMS. On 16 October, teachers at these schools will distribute information cards on the MDGs and the Stand Up campaign, and give their classes 15 minutes to discuss the information, stand up against poverty and inequality and take a picture. Students will be given a postcard each so that they can spread the word on the Millennium Development Goals among other young people. For further information visit:



A Stand Up event is being organized on 16 October in Ljubljana by the United Nations Association of Slovenia and Slovene Philanthropy, with the support of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, the Embassy of the United States of America, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna. The keynote speaker will be the President of Slovenia H.E. Dr. Danilo Türk, followed by the screening of a documentary of Slovene Philanthropy on the everyday life of women in Uganda. The United Nations Association of Slovenia will launch a new publication on the MDGs, followed by a round-table of prominent guests focusing on MDG 3 - Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women. The event will conclude with a live performance by the musician Adi Smolar, whose lyrics uphold human dignity, address society's mistakes and foster reasonable thinking. There will also be several Stand Up events in elementary and secondary schools across the country. For further information visit: www.milenijski-cilji.si.


About the Campaigns:

The UN Millennium Campaign was established by the UN Secretary General in 2002. The Campaign supports citizens' efforts to hold their governments to account for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Development Goals were adopted by 189 world leaders from rich and poor countries, as part of the Millennium Declaration which was signed in 2000. These leaders agreed to achieve the Goals by 2015. Our premise is simple: we are the first generation that can end poverty and we refuse to miss this opportunity. For more information, visit www.endpoverty2015.org.

The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) is a civil society alliance of social movements, international NGOs, trade unions, community groups, women's organizations, faith and youth groups, local associations and campaigners working together across more than 100 national coalitions/platforms. GCAP is calling for action from the world's leaders to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality. In particular, GCAP demands solutions that address the issues of public accountability, just governance and the fulfillment of human rights; trade justice; more and better aid; debt cancellation; climate justice; peace and security as well as gender equality and women's rights. For more information, visit www.whiteband.org.

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For more information, audio-visual content, to book an interview or for details on events visit www.standagainstpoverty.org or contact:

Kara Alaimo
United Nations Millennium Campaign
Telephone: (+1-212) 906-6399
Email: Kara.Alaimo@undp.org

Ciara O'Sullivan
Global Call to Action Against Poverty
Telephone: (+34-679) 594-809
Email: Ciara.osullivan@whiteband.org