Exactly a quarter of century ago, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through its resolution 47/196 of 22nd December 1992, declared 17th October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day highlights the importance of public awareness, voice and the active participation of people living in extreme poverty to ensure the concerns and priorities of millions of people living in extreme poverty, are heard and acted upon.
The theme of this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a reminder of the October 1987 Call to Action and highlights the importance of virtues of dignity, solidarity and compassion enshrined in it to eliminate poverty all across the world.
The Call to Action October 17 was launched in 1987 by Father Joseph Wresinski whose efforts led to the recognition of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty by the UN. The Call to Action acknowledges the knowledge and courage of households living below poverty line throughout the world, the importance of reaching out to the poorest and building a partnership with citizens irrespective of their backgrounds to end poverty.
Poverty is a global problem. Contrary to popular belief, poverty also afflicts some of the developed countries. However, it constitutes a major problem for developing world. Most of the world’s poor live in semi-urban and rural areas. National plans to eradicate poverty will be stronger if they are inclusive and take into account the voices and concerns of all parts of society. Access to free of cost basic services should be made available to all. Knowledge capabilities must be imparted and enhanced. Elimination of poverty also calls for greater participation of all women and men.
Eradicating poverty must become a key objective of the mankind. Elimination of poverty isn’t just a key development imperative but is also a peace imperative. The world will become more peaceful when there is no poverty. That is why the necessity of taking action to translate promises into reality is more pressing than ever before. This International Day for the Eradication of Poverty let us resolve to end poverty in all parts of the world and take steps to create a sustainable future.