|History of World Poverty Day
Poverty Day -- October 17th -- each year marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern poverty day
movement in 1987.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
"The campaign to make poverty history-a central moral challenge of our age-cannot remain a task for the
few, it must become a calling for the many. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I urge
everyone to join this struggle. Together, we can make real and sufficient progress towards the end of
United Nations Ex-Secretary-General, Kofi Annan
"Excerpts taken from his message to be delivered on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty,
17 October 2006".
The Theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in 2007 is People Living in Poverty as
Agents of Change: 20th Anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October
1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty,
violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to
come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a
commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social
origins have gathered every year on October 17 th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity
with the poor. Replicas of the commemorative stone have been unveiled around the world and serve as a
gathering place to celebrate the Day. One such replica is located in the garden of United Nations
Headquarters and is the site of the annual commemoration organized by the United Nations Secretariat in
Through resolution 47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as
the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invited all States to devote the Day to presenting
and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication of
poverty and destitution. The resolution further invites intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations to assist States, at their request, in organizing national activities for the observance of the
Day, and requests the Secretary-General to take, within existing resources, the measures necessary to
ensure the success of the Day's observance by the United Nations.
October 17th presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a
chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first
ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's
celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of October 17 th also reflects the willingness of
people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.
Source: United Nations