Every attitude, every gesture has to fight poverty and exclusion. There are many ways to act, regardless of our skills and availability. These messages, these testimonials reflect. Feel free to contribute.

Testimonies are published under the responsibility of the author. They are subject to validation: these will be published only if they comply, in form and substance the spirit of this day as defined in the International Charter for October 17.



International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

As we mark UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty this October 17th, we recognise the special significance of 2015 in what must be our collective effort to eradicate global poverty. This year marks a decisive moment in history, with the agreement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals “Agenda 2030” in New York in recent weeks, and what will hopefully be a successful outcome at the COP21 Climate Change Summit in Paris at the end of the year.

Delivering on the promises to end inequality contained in Agenda 2030 will require concerted political commitment and it is essential that the central role of the State as the guarantor of the human rights of citizens is retained. It is also essential that economic forces are harnessed to serve the requirements of social justice and human rights, rather than the interests of justice being seen as residual to the demands of the market.

At the individual level, we must recognise that sustainability and equality will require changes in lifestyle, patterns of consumption and attitudes. “Leave no-one behind” is a central principle of the Agenda 2030 Goals and we are, above all else, called upon to re-forge a commitment to the inherent and universal dignity of every member of the human family. As we gather on this day, the world is turning its efforts and its capacities more fully than ever before to eradicate poverty – let us all play our part in turning that dream into a reality.

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

2015 - Message from the International Committee for October 17


Message for the World Day for Overcoming Poverty & the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty  - 17th October 2015

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty this year is very significant because it comes so soon after the launch of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We welcome the declaration by all countries in the 2030 Agenda that they are “determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions” as well as their pledge that “no one will be left behind”.

We know only too well that when poverty is measured only in terms of money, it diminishes the dignity of people living in poverty and their daily struggle to overcome poverty. It sidesteps the recognition of poverty as a denial of human rights or that poverty is complex and multi-­dimensional in nature.

And when global leaders in 2000 set out to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty, they effectively abandoned millions of men, women and children to struggle against poverty on their own. Some world leaders would like us to believe that we are the first generation that can put an end to poverty. This is misleading. Every preceding generation in modern history has had the capacity to end poverty; they just lacked the vision, compassion and political will to make it happen.

We must not repeat the missteps of the last 15 years. This time we must ensure we leave no one behind. The theme for the commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty this year— “Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination” — reminds us how important it is to act together to eradicate extreme poverty and discrimination everywhere in order to build a sustainable future. People living in poverty know from first-­hand experience that poverty and discrimination are closely intertwined.

They have seen how discrimination affects people living in poverty by breeding an environment of inequality that limits access to their fundamental rights, basic needs and opportunities for economic and social advancement. They have experienced how such discrimination can both cause poverty and be a hurdle in overcoming poverty. We have seen how, even in countries where there was significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, discrimination and inequalities have grown.

People living in poverty must be full and equal partners in building a just and sustainable future. Their full participation, particularly in the decisions that affect their lives and communities, must be at the centre of policies and strategies to build a sustainable future. Too often there has been token participation of people living in poverty and as a result their valuable knowledge and experience have been overlooked or discounted.

We must work together to guarantee that our planet can meet the needs of everyone – not only those of a privileged few – for this and future generations.

Donald Lee, President, International Committee for October 17

2014 UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

I would like to send by best wishes to all those taking part in the 2014 UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The theme for this year’s International Day is: Leave No One Behind: Think, Decide and Act Together Against Extreme Poverty. It is a theme which invites us, as global citizens, to work in unison to fight one of the greatest human rights violations of the 21st century - global hunger.

It is also a theme which reminds us that if we are to stand in solidarity with the world’s poor and marginalized, we must never allow silent indifference or thoughtless collusion to overcome our innate humanitarian instinct.

UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a significant date on the global calendar. I thank you for ensuring it is a day when we, in Ireland, join together with citizens across the world in a spirit of shared humanity as we seek for sustainable solutions to marginalization and poverty.

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

Dublin 17 October Community Gathering
Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

Address by Emily LOGAN, Chief Commissioner Designate for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Designate

Today is a unique and important event to highlight the effects of poverty and discrimination experienced by people in their daily lives. It’s a stark reminder that human dignity must always be preserved.

I’m here today representing the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. It’s going to be a new public body that will be set up on the 1st November. And our job is to protect and promote human rights and equality here in Ireland and to ensure that the dignity and worth of each person is respected.

Poverty is a denial of human rights. Poverty denies people their human rights because it directly undermines their human dignity. If poverty and inequality that lead to it are tackled , then there’s a much better chance that the human rights of people experiencing poverty will be strengthened and better respected.

To ensure that no body is ever left behind it’s more important than ever that people in poverty themselves are seen as the first defenders of human rights. We need to hear their voices, and we need to hear their experiences. And to do that, as I believe Liam said earlier, how can we expect people to exercise their rights if they don’t know about their human rights. And that will be part of our job at the Commission which is to try and educate the public about human rights. Those testimonies today are proof that we should respect this voice and support people in the exercise of their own rights.

As we share in a spirit of humanity across the world let us never give up on the fight to seek solutions to marginalisation and poverty.

Dublin 17 October Community Gathering
Emily Logan

Let’s make the World Day for the Eradication of Extreme Poverty as a daily reference of action, of mobilization

October 17th

Let’s make the World Day for the Eradication of Extreme Poverty as a daily reference of action, of mobilization

It is unacceptable that everyday thousands of people, mostly children from one to five years, die of hunger, exclusion and abandonment while over 3 billion dollars are invested in weapons and military spending.

As Jean Ziegler says, "hunger is the most active and dreadful weapon of mass destruction."  

The time for silence is over. Now we can express ourselves freely. Let us join our voices to demand justice in favor of the victims, of those who survive in extremely precarious conditions.  

"Do not leave anyone behind”. Think, decide and act together against extreme poverty. All together with ATD Quart Monde, to relieve and heal the situation of many of our brothers.

Federico Mayor - Foundation Culture of Peace