International Press Release: Appointment of Mr. Bernard Monnet

06 July 2020, Pierrelaye, France - We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Bernard Monnet to the International Committee for October 17. The Committee was established in 2008 to promote and support the observance of the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, observed on October 17th each year, which is recognized as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty by the United Nations.

Donald Lee, President of the International Committee, said: “We are very proud that Mr Bernard Monnet is joining the Committee. Through his commitment to October 17 in France for many years, he has contributed to developing the mobilization to make clear that wherever men and women are condemned to live in  extreme poverty, their human rights are being violated.

His personal knowledge, reflections and experience will enrich and strengthen the work of the Committee to promote and support the spirit and objectives of October 17.”

Mr. Monnet was born in Versailles, near Paris where he experienced poverty and exclusion with his family. He saw his parents and many other families struggling to live with dignity. In 1977, when he was living in Toulon, he discovered the ATD Fourth World Movement and saw how it worked to defend the rights and dignity of his parents and his entire community. He would eventually  choose to be involved with and make a personal commitment to the Movement to show solidarity with the most disadvantaged. Since then, he has worked tirelessly in the Movement, including for several years with missions in the Netherlands, and in Lille and Paris in France.

In 1987, he worked with young people who contributed to organizing the first World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty. On the evening of that first World Day, he realized that he would always carry this light of hope and answer the call to unite for human dignity throughout the world. Although, he later trained as a house painter and then worked in a hotel in Angers, France, he has faithfully maintained this commitment either alongside very poor people in the ATD Fourth World Movement or simply as a citizen in his neighborhood and city. His dream is that one day the Movement will receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

For more information, please contact:
Florence Altmayer
Anne-Sylvie Laurent
international [dot] committee [at] oct17 [dot] org
++ 33130362216


The International Committee for October 17 was established in 2008 with the following goals: to promote the 17 of October as 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 the 17 of October 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.
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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 the 17 of 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.
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In 1992, the United Nations proclaimed the 17 of  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.