Theme for 2018
Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.

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On this page you will find:

  • Testimonies: messages from people living in extreme poverty,...
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New York - Friday 17 October 2014 - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2014

Event report

October 17, declared by the UN as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, was officially celebrated at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The commemoration this year consisted of three different events, which all collectively addressed the theme: “Leave No One Behind: Think, Decide, and Act Together against Extreme Poverty.”

The week began with the launch of a week-long art exhibition of collective artworks by people living in poverty. On October 16, a panel discussion marked the importance of women as active contributors to the fight against poverty. Both events included contributions from members of ATD Fourth World teams in New York and Boston.

On the 17th itself, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened up the commemoration by addressing inequality: “Entrenched poverty and prejudice, and vast gulfs between wealth and distribution, can undermine the fabric of societies and lead to instability.” He went on to say that, “We must ensure that the voices of people living in poverty are not only heard but acted upon,” re-emphasizing the participation of every person. Alvenia Hutton from ATD Fourth World New York, later presented a collection of “Hero Cards” as a token of appreciation upon his departure.

Kaidi Kenyatta and Derek Morris from the Center for Social Policy at UMASS Boston spoke of engagement with people directly affected by poverty and their participation in our Merging Knowledge project. Mr. Morris spoke of breaking down stereotypes, as “all participants must be seen as a person who possess valuable knowledge and life experiences.” “We don’t come together to agree, but to understand,” said Ms. Kenyatta.

After a video message from the International Presentation Association in Zambia, Evelyn Sanchez from ATD Fourth World New York, discussed her experiences as a single mother living in the projects. She mentioned a lack of resources and support in her neighborhood, with children and senior citizens having no access to positive activities or services. Pierre Simmons from Sure We Can spoke about the challenges of living on benefits, and insisted that the causes rather than the symptoms of poverty must be treated. “Love coupled with education will be our hammer and chisel to break the chains of the mindset that holds a person in the bondage of poverty,” he said.

William Westery from Neighbors Together continued the discussion by addressing stereotypes and discriminations faced by people on benefits, and the demands for good policies that will help people build their lives and communities. Speaking from his personal experience, Mr. Westery declares that “we have to give people the means to make a change.”

H.S. Simplice Honoré Guibila, Deputy Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso to the United Nations, and H.E. Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, expressed their support for this global dialogue, particularly in relation to the MDG’s and the Post-2015 Agenda. Musical and dance performance by Yoshiko Chuma, Patricia Nicholson Parker, Jason Kao Hwang, and Shayna Dulberger created a beautiful sight of expressions in the conference room.

Closing remarks by Donald Lee from International Committee for October 17 brought the program to an end. He emphasized that we need to acknowledge and learn from people who have direct experiences of poverty to create sustainable development. “It is only when we work together that we are able to transform our lives and communities,” said Mr. Lee.

Please, follow the link to look at the webcast of the event:

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Event description

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2014

Friday, 17 October 2014

1.15 pm - 2.30 pm

Conference Room 2, United Nations Conference Building, New York

The 2014 Commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) will be held on Friday, 17 October at United Nations Headquarters in New York, focusing on the theme - 

"Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty"

This year's event is organized in partnership with the International Movement ATD Fourth World, the NGO Sub-committee for the Eradication of Poverty and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, supported by the Missions of France and Burkina Faso to the United Nations.

The commemoration will include a message from the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, keynote speeches, including from people living in poverty.

Also featured will be a musical performance and an art exhibition “Leave No One Behind”.

As one of many initiatives taking place on this day, a ten-part exhibition of collective artwork by people living in poverty will be mounted on the premises of the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Each collection shows how the human act of creation—whether by rousing strength and hope, or bestowing a peaceful calm–helps people to hold their heads high, to come together in dignity, and to leave no one behind.

More information is available online at:

United Nations
New York
United States