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21 September 2010

Across the Globe, Millions Stood Up, Demanding Action to End Poverty

In the weekend ahead of the “MDG Summit” (20-22 September, New York) millions of people around the world – from South Africa to Singapore, Columbia to the Czech Republic, Nepal to New York – stood up and made a noise, demanding real actions to end the global poverty crisis from world leaders.

Leading up to the Summit, grassroots activists and anti-poverty campaigners from Africa to Asia had drafted their own visions for 2015 in "The World We Want Charters." These charters were unveiled on Sunday (19 September) at a “Stand Up” rally in New York. According to the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), improved accountability, transparency and implementation top the list of demands in the charters. “The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should no longer be treated as simple targets, but instead legislated as rights. And every development goal should be viewed as a gender goal.”

The GCAP Africa Charter calls upon African Governments, donors, civil society organizations, the private sector and other development actors to develop and implement purposeful development policies to ensure that the remaining five years to 2015 will be productive in meeting, and preferable exceeding the MDGs.

The Asia-Pacific Civil Society Charter highlights that Asia and the Pacific face a severe crisis in which nearly 68% of its citizens live in extreme poverty, without enough to eat or access to basic services, such as safe water, education and healthcare. It calls on governments to “intensify collective action” and “reinvigorate efforts towards achievement of all of the MDGs.”

The Charter on Peace and Security emphasizes the severity of armed violence around the world, which have killed more than 740,000 people per annum in recent years; seriously injured millions of people; and displaced families. It further underlines that armed violence erodes food security, weakens systems for health and education, and undermines poverty reduction. It notes that in non-conflict countries alone, armed violence has been estimated to cost over $163 billion – more than the total global aid budget. It calls upon States to try to better understand and monitor of armed violence and its effects on the MDGs; to provide increased assistance for victims of armed violence; and to recognize armed violence reduction as a development imperative.

To read the full press release, click here.

Images and videos from the “Stand Up 2010” can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z699KYWG_JM

See also the Stand Up Against Poverty website.

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