Immediate Release – September 14, 2010

CITIZENS’ VOICES AGAINST POVERTY WILL CRESCENDO IN NOISES HEARD AROUND THE WORLD AS HEADS OF STATE TRAVEL TO UN SUMMIT:

Local Groups Host “Stand Up” Events Whereby Citizens Will Make their Expectations – that Governments Achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – Too Loud to Ignore at “Stand Up” Events Across the Globe on September 17th-19th.

On September 17th -19th, people across the globe will turn up the volume on their call for heads of state gathering at the United Nations on September 20th-22nd to demonstrate leadership in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Citizens will gather at events (see local listing below) across continents to amplify  their support for the eight Millennium Development Goals –  a set of targets to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes by 2015 that marks its tenth anniversary this week. They will be singing, chanting, blowing whistles, playing drums, blowing vuvuzelas, banging pots and pans and setting off alarm clocks. The sounds of these noises emanating from villages, towns and cities around the world as part of the three day mobilization “Stand Up, Take Action, Make Noise for the Millennium Development Goals  (MDGs)” will make citizens’ commitments to track and support their countries’ achievement of the  Millennium Development Goals visible, vocal and impossible to ignore.

“The Secretary General’s recent report on the Millennium Development Goals has made it clear that with only five years until the deadline by which  world leaders have promised to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes,  the active partnership of citizens and governments is more important than  ever,” said Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign. “The citizens participating in ‘Stand Up and Take Action’ on September 17th-19th will  make it clear to heads of state gathering at the United Nations the following week that they support and want to be a part of the realization of the  Goals.”

The mobilization will serve as a launching point for a new initiative of real-time monitoring by citizens of basic service delivery in  their communities. The availability of and access to quality, reliable and consistent basic services are essential for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be realized at the  country level. The Millennium Campaign will work with governments, civil  society, technology partners and the media to launch pilot citizen tracking  programs in India and Kenya in 2011.

“Stand Up” events being organized across the globe include:

  • Concerts across Bangladesh, Cambodia, Columbia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Korea, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zimbabwe, where local artists will  sing their support of the  Millennium Development Goals.
  • In Jordan, 40,000 children are expected to simultaneously blow whistles in support of the Millennium Development Goals,  in an attempt to set a new world record.
  • In India, “Stand Up” will kick off with a film festival on September 17th.
  • In New York City, Lincoln Plaza will be the hub of  Stand Up activity on September 19th, with exhibitions on promises and progress to end poverty as well as speakers and performers.
  • In Paris, French citizens and civil society organizations are organizing a flash mob and Stand Up moment in  front of the Eiffel Tower on September 18th.
  • In Washington, D.C., citizens will come together with local musicians, drummers and bands just two blocks from the White House, to amplify their voices in support of the Millennium Development Goals.
  • In the Philippines, various fiestas in towns and cities nationwide will be dedicated to the call for the achievement of the  Millennium Development Goals, including events from September 17th-19th where  citizens will play indigenous materials including coconuts and bamboo guitars.
  • In Columbia, the United Nations, in partnership with the National Soccer League, will invite  30,000 spectators at one of the most important soccer matches of the season to Stand Up on September 19th.
  • In Egypt, religious leaders will give sermons calling for an end to poverty in more than 50,000 mosques and at Sunday masses in churches across the country. A national youth rally will take place on September 17th at the historic site of the Giza pyramids, entitled “The Sphinx Stands Against Poverty.”

The “Stand Up and Take Action” mobilization comes amidst an ongoing process of citizen engagement with their leaders in support of the Millennium Development Goals. Upcoming activities include the launch of an alternate report on Millennium Development Goals progress in India and the Philippines on September 15th; a dedicated Millennium Development Goals Week in  the Philippines House of Representatives where citizens will launch a roadmap for poverty reduction; and a collective appeal in support of the Millennium Development Goals to be presented to the government of Nepal on September 15th.

Last year, more than 173 million people participated in “Stand Up,” setting a new Guinness World Record. “Stand Up and Take Action” is organized globally by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, in collaboration with a wide range of partners, including the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP).

In York Region, Poverty Action for Change Coalition (P.A.C.C.) and Make Poverty History York Region Chapter (Ontario, Canada) are holding “Stand Up” events on Friday,  September 17th at 7 PM – 7:30 Pm at Fa,iry Lake Park in Newmarket as well as a sign-on “Stand Up” booth located at the Newmarket Farmers Market on Saturday,  September 18th from 9AM to 1:30 PM.

Both groups encourage residents to come out and sign or host their own Stand Up and post the Stand Up events online.

For  world event listings, photos, sounds from “Stand Up” events and more information, please click here www.standagainstpoverty.org.

Furthermore, for those who cannot attend the official stand-up-against-poverty count event, people can still be counted towards a new world record for those standing against poverty by pledging online and vowing to stand while pledging. So you can stand up at home or at the park or wherever as long as you report it in (on September 17th – 19th).

Contact info:

PACC (Poverty Action For Change Coalition)
Mailing address
21 Dunlop St. Suite
200 Richmond Hill, ON,
L4C-2M6

www.povertyacc.com

Phone: 905-836-7931
Toll Free: 1-888-365-5226

Media only call: 289-221-0928

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