The International Committee for October 17th was launched on October 17th, 2008.
The goals of the International Committee for October 17th are:
- To promote the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which publicly unites all those who are striving together to end poverty and those who want to join them, whether at global, national or local levels.
- To promote the observance of this International Day in ways that respect the original spirit and meaning of the day, first marked on October 17, 1987, as described by the words of Fr. Joseph Wresinski: “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.” Father Joseph Wresinski ».
- To promote and safeguard spaces where people from very different backgrounds can be together in a unique way, to struggle against extreme poverty and violations of human rights, and to strive towards peace for all.
Every year, the International Committee undertakes a process of consultation to determine a suitable theme to guide the commemoration of the International Day around the world. The International Committee issues an official Message, each year, to mark the annual observance of the International Day.
The composition of this committee is unique, with members coming from different backgrounds, including people with first-hand experience of extreme poverty, all committed together against poverty and exclusion:
- Ms Josephine Alumanah(Nigeria), Executive Director, Action in Distress Foundation
- M. Maximiliano Araujo Araujo (Guatemala) Writer, lawyer and human rights defender
- M. Roberto Bissio (Uruguay) Social Watch, Third World Institute
- M Justin Byamungu (Democratic Republic of Congo), former Tapori coordination team; Expert at the Department of Rural Development;
- M. Bruno Dabout (France) Director General, International Movement ATD Fourth World
- Ms Florence Elie (Haiti), Senior official, former Protector of the Citizen;
- Ms Carolina Escobar Sarti (Guatemala), Writer, National Director of the association “La Alianza Guatemala”;
- Ms France Fournier (Canada), International Movement ATD Fourth World, “Collective for a Quebec without Poverty”;
- M. Andrew Kelly (Ireland), International Movement ATD Fourth World;
- M. Romeo Lagahit (Philippines), former Regional Director of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor;
- M. Bernard Monnet (France), activist of the ATD Fourth World Movement
- M. Benoît Reboul-Salze (France), International Movement ATD Fourth World
- Ms. Anna Rurka (Poland), Committee “Action for Social Rights”, Council of Europe;
- Ms. Marta Santos Pais (Portugal), Portuguese Human Rights Commission;
- M. Filipe Savadogo (Burkina Faso), Diplomat, Chairs the Dialogue Initiative Committee;
- M. Jean Toussaint (France), International Movement ATD Fourth World
- H.E. Cassam Uteem (Mauritius) former President, International Movement ATD Fourth World (2012-2020); former President, Republic of Mauritius (1992-2002)
- H.E. Cassam Uteem (Republic of Mauritius) (2008-2012), former President, International Movement ATD Fourth World (2014-2020); former President, Mauritius (1992-2002)
- M. Donald Lee (Australia) (2012-2020) President, ATD Fourth World international; former senior economist, United Nations
- Ms. Gemma Adaba (Trinidad and Tobago) International Consultant; former ITUC representative to the United Nations
- M. Jean-Paul Baget (France), Musician and pedagogue
- Ms. Huguette Bossot-Redegeld (France) International Movement ATD Fourth World
- Ms. Djamila Bouguessa (France), ATD Fourth World
- M. Eugen Brand (Suisse), former Director General, International Movement ATD Fourth World
- H.E. Miguel Angel Estrella (Argentine), Pianist; UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
- H.E. Jean-Marc de La Sablière (France), former Ambassador of France to the United Nations and Italy
- Mme Kazuko Ito (Japan), Lawyer; Secretary General, Human Rights Now
- Ms. Nina Lim Yuson (Philippines), CEO and President, Museo Pambata; former President, International Movement ATD Fourth World (2006-2014)
- Ms. Tricia McConalogue (Great-Britain) Director, Bridging the Gap Association
- Ms. Belinda Nugent (Ireland) Aftercare Worker, SAOL Project;
- Me Titinga Pacéré, Esq.(Burkina Faso), Lawyer, writer and poet
- Ms. Isabelle Pypaert-Perrin (Belgium) Former Director General, International Movement ATD Fourth World
- M. Jacques Petidor (Haïti) Educator, Ministry of Education,
- Professor Adam Seligman (Etats-Unis), Professor of Religion, Boston University;
- M. Mario Serrano (Dominican Republic) former National Director for Jesuit Social Ministries in the Dominican Republic
- H.E. Mr. José Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste), former President, Timor-Leste (2007–2012); Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1996
- Ms. Jean Stallings (United States of America) ATD Fourth World
- Ms. Jyoti Tuladhar (Nepal) International Consultant on gender and human rights; former senior expert on Gender Equality Issues, ILO
- Professeur Yozo Yokota (Japan), Chuo University, Law college,Tokyo.
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In 1992, with resolution 47/196, the General Assembly of the United Nations recognized October 17th, World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. In 2006, the General Assembly welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s Report A/61/308 on the Observance of the International Day. The report says that people living in poverty are the first defenders of human rights and are agents of change. It identifies lessons learned and ways to promote the mobilization of all stakeholders in the fight against poverty. The report emphasizes the importance of a human rights-based approach and the true participation of people living in extreme poverty. It also calls for the active participation of people living in extreme poverty.
On the occasion of 17 October 2008, Mr Cassam Uteem, former President of the Republic of Mauritius (1992-2002) and the International Movement ATD Fourth World announced the creation of the International Committee for October 17.
Since then, on each International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the International Committee 17 October issues a message.