International Press Release

International Committee for October 17: Appointment of Mr. Roberto Bissio
August 1, 2017, Pierrelaye, France
—We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Roberto Bissio 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 recognised as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty by the United Nations.

Donald Lee, President of the International Committee, in announcing the appointment said “I am delighted to welcome Mr. Roberto Bissio as a member of the International Committee. He is a world renowned researcher, author and advocate for social justice, and has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the eradication of poverty and gender equity. His experience, expertise and commitment to poverty eradication and social justice will enrich and strengthen the work of the Committee to promote and support the spirit and objectives of October 17.”
Mr. Roberto Bissio, a native of Uruguay, currently coordinates the secretariat of Social Watch, an international network of citizen organizations from over eighty countries that reports every year on how  governments and international organizations implement their commitments on poverty eradication and gender equity. He is executive director of the Third World  Institute, a non-profit research and advocacy  organization based in Uruguay. He is also a member of the international committee of Third World Network; an advisor to ICANN on accountability issues; and a member of the Civil Society Advisory Committee to the UNDP administrator. Roberto Bissio has written on development issues since 1973 as a journalist and columnist and he is the author of the reference books  “Third World Guide” and “World Guide” published in  several languages between 1979 and 2009.


For more information, please contact:
Hugues de Courtivron, international [dot] committee [at] oct17 [dot] org
++ 33680369466

To know more

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 recognised 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.

In 1992, the United Nations proclaimed the 17th 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.
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Social Watch is an international network of citizens’ organizations in the struggle to eradicate poverty and the causes of poverty, to end all forms of discrimination and racism, to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and the realization of human rights. The network promotes people-centred sustainable development, is committed to peace, social, economic, environment and gender justice, and emphasizes the right of all people not to be poor. It holds governments, the UN system and  international organizations accountable for the fulfilment of national, regional and international commitments to eradicate poverty. Social Watch works towards its objectives through a comprehensive strategy of  advocacy, awareness-building, monitoring, organizational development and networking.

The Third World Institute (ITeM) is a non-for-profit non-governmental organization based in Montevideo, Uruguay, engaged in information, communication and  education activities on issues related to development and the environment, and it fosters civic participation in decision making global processes. The ITeM holds the  representation in Latin America of the Third World  Network-TWN, an independent active group of both  organizations and individuals expressing at the global fórum viewpoints of the civil society from the South. It is part since 1996 of the list of organizations holding  consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.