“Poverty Hearings” at United Nations

Thursday, 17 Jun 2010

On 14 June, hundreds of anti-poverty campaigners from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America marched to the United Nations buildings in New York to demand urgent and concrete actions to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

The activists were in New York to participate in hearings at the United Nations for consultation meetings ahead of a high-profile summit at the UN in September, where global leaders are expected to take measures to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

“Governments seem to be suffering from a collective infliction – memory loss,” said Lysa John of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). “They agreed on a framework and concrete targets to dramatically reduce extreme poverty by 2015.  But with less than five years to go, we are way off track. We urgently need legally binding mechanisms to ensure that governments keep their promises alongside a global breakthrough plan to end extreme poverty.”
“We are calling for the World We Want 2015 because we are not happy with the World we live in today,” says Gemma Adaba of the International Trade Union Confederation, “a world where children are denied the opportunity to go to school and neoliberal polices dictate that education is a service that must be paid for.  The World We Want is a world where there is education for all, health, water, decent work, universal social protection floor and dignity for all.”
“We need Governments to be accountable to the citizens of the world and fulfil the internationally agreed commitments they have made,” adds Mr. Irungu Houghton, Oxfam's Pan-African policy advisor. “Poverty has reached emergency proportions.  Urgent action is needed.  We cannot afford a business-as-usual approach.”

Leaders from 189 countries signed The Millennium Declaration in 2000, setting out eight clear cut time-bound commitments to end poverty.  While some progress and significant achievements have been made, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are not on track to be achieved by the 2015 deadline.

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