INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
International Committee for October 17 meets in Dublin
The International Committee for October 17 will meet in Dublin from the 12th to 14th May 2014. This will be the Committee’s fifth meeting to promote and support the observance of the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, observed on October 17th each year, recognized as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty by the United Nations.
“They chose Dublin for this event because in many ways Ireland has exhibited strong commitment to the central message of the UN Day”, explained Sean Dunne, long term activist on social issues in Dublin City. The Committee also recognizes the dedication and commitment of the Irish National Committee responsible for planning and staging the annual 17th October Commemoration in Dublin.
Donald Lee, President of the International Committee, noted that “the people of Ireland have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the spirit and objectives of October 17 by inaugurating in Dublin, close to the Famine Memorial at Custom House Quay, a replica of the original October 17 Commemorative Stone in Paris.”
The Stone was unveiled in 2008 by public officials and citizens from all walks of Irish society, and bears the declaration made by Joseph Wresinski on 17 October 1987 that:
“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty,
human rights are violated.
To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”
The International Committee will also meet and interact with local organizations while in Dublin to highlight the difficulties and achievements of people whose daily lives are affected by poverty and social exclusion. One event will take place at the Sheriff Youth Club in Dublin north inner city, and will also include an activity at the Commemorative Stone in Custom House Quay, Dublin.
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The International Committee for October 17 was established in 2008 with the following goals: to promote October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, as recognized by the United Nations, uniting those who are striving together to end poverty; to promote the observance of October 17 in its original spirit; and to promote opportunities where people, from a variety of backgrounds, including those whose lives are most difficult, can work together in the fight against extreme poverty as a violation of Human Rights.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first celebrated as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty at a major public rally held on 17 October 1987 in Paris, where one hundred thousand people from all backgrounds responded to a call from Father Joseph Wresinski, founder of ATD Fourth World, to gather at the Plaza of Liberties and Human Rights. On this day, a declaration was engraved on a Commemorative Stone proclaiming that extreme poverty is a violation of human rights and affirming the need for all people to unite to ensure that these rights are respected.
In 1992, the United Nations proclaimed 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Since then, governments, local authorities, members of civil society and the private sector have recognized the importance of this International Day, which has become a key rallying point for a growing number of citizens and organizations from all backgrounds, in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.
In September 2012, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, which provided for the first time global policy guidelines focusing specifically on the human rights of people living in poverty.