MGESUTA08 – Press Note

In Media digest, Seva on 26/10/2008 at 16:43

Mission Green Earth STAND UP TAKE ACTION 08


Asia Press Note


22nd October, 08








Bangkok, Thailand: Over 116 million people, nearly two percent of the world’s population, in 110 countries, have broken the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people to “STAND AGAINST POVERTY”.


The Guinness citation reads:

“The record for most people to ‘Stand Up Against Poverty’ in one week was set from 17 to 19 October 2008 for the United Nation’s Millennium Campaign during the Stand Up Take Action events and involved a massive total of 116,993,629 participants in 7,777 events around the globe.”


This is the largest single coordinated movement of people to ‘Stand Against Poverty and for Millennium Development Goals’ and was coordinated by the United Nations Millennium Campaign and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP).


 “In what was undoubtedly the largest mobilization since Guinness began keeping records, citizens around the globe put their leaders at the national and global level on notice that their commitments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 have to be met – no more delays or excuses are acceptable,” said Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. “Already, world leaders are responding.  Mass mobilizations have the power to change the course of history, and we will not stop mobilizing and advocating for action until the Millennium Development Goals are achieved for the poorest people in the world.”


“World citizens have acted and committed to keep the pressure on governments to achieve and exceed Millennium Development Goals. Asia has seen the biggest mobilization, and now it is time for Governments to act to deal with the development emergency that we are faced with and honor their commitments,” Said Minar Pimple, Deputy Director, Asia, of the United Nations Millennium Campaign.


Key “Stand Up” events from South Asia and Asia:


In the Philippines, more than 35 million people (1/3 of the population) stood against Poverty at events across the country. The campaign was a result of concerted efforts of the UN agencies in the Philippines, local government units, civil society organizations including GCAP, Universities and government agencies, including the National Anti-Poverty Commission and the Department of Education. Thousands of fishermen also took to the streets with GCAP Philippines on the morning of October 17 to demand a government programme for food sovereignty and sustainability.    


In India, more than 14 million people all over the country stood up to demand an end to poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Art of Living Foundation (AOL), under the guidance of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji mobilized over 6 million people to stand up in 26 states in India under the ‘Mission Green Earth Stand Up Take Action’ campaign, in partnership with the UN Millennium Campaign and the Ministry of Environment & Forests (Government of India). In one of the events organized by the Art of Living Foundation in New Delhi, more than 6,000 people Stood Up on the perimeter of Parliament on 18th October, including some of the richest and poorest families in the country.


In Nepal, over 1.5 million people expressed their solidarity through the Stand Up and Take Action Campaign including at a convention of women members of the Constituent Assembly and other events focusing on deepening participatory democracy as part of building a poverty and hunger-free Nepal by the Citizen’s Campaign for Democracy and Social Transformation and other civil society partners. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, ‘Pranchanda’, issued a public statement on October 17, committing the government to the achievement of the MDGs and encouraging the Nepali people to join the movement of building a new nation.


In Bangladesh, over 13. 3 million people stood up and arranged unprecedented campaign events and innovative programmes across the country with a wide range of partners, including the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, the National Federation of Youth Organisation, and Dhaka City Cooperation. The events included an MDG Road Show and a policy seminar to engage key political leaders in the upcoming national elections.


In Pakistan, 390,000 people were mobilised through the network of civil society organizations and local governments with the active involvement of youth groups and members of district, provincial and national assemblies.


In Indonesia, over 7.3 million people Stood Up; in Jakarta and other cities of Indonesia, more than 450,000 Muslims in 1,500 mosques joined the Stand Up after the Friday prayers on October 17. Khatibs (preachers) explained the responsibilities of Muslims in accordance with the Islamic values to fight against poverty and call for more effective actions by governments and the people.


In Thailand, over 290,000 people Stood Up; the Royal Thai Government represented by the Ministry of Interior and the United Nations jointly pledged their commitment to stamp out poverty and inequality by launching a 180-day Roadmap for Poverty Eradication.


The number of people who “Stood Up and Took Action” in each Asia is as follows:

Afghanistan  87,200

Bangladesh  13,389,059

Cambodia  145

China  1,168

Hong Kong  685

India  14,295,849

Indonesia  7,386,624

Iran  309,059

Japan  22,505

Laos  9

Malaysia  13,636

Mongolia  1,040

Nepal  1,573,608

Pakistan  389,259

Philippines  35,264,652

Republic of Korea  18,797

Singapore  14,514

Sri Lanka  84,376

Taiwan  5,000

Thailand  290,462

Viet Nam  4,200

Total Asia   73,151,847


Key “Stand Up” Global events:


In New York,  H.E. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly, and Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro joined 837 people who Stood Against Poverty after performances by the cast of the Broadway production “A Tale of Two Cities.”


In Milan, Italy, more than 400,000 people Stood Against Poverty in the Italian Parliament and at an event attended by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Letizia Moratti, Mayor of Milan. In Germany, Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul joined the Stand Up event in Berlin, encouraging civil society to increase pressure on the government to stick to their promises. With hundreds of events across the country, more than 100,000 people demanded more and better aid and the implementation of fair world trade rules to realize the MDGs.In Egypt, millions of people visited two sailboats which made stops along the Nile to educate Egyptians about the Millennium Development Goals.


In Madrid, Spain, 40,000 people gathered to march against poverty on October 17 under the “Rebélate contra la Pobreza” initiative. Simultaneous anti-poverty protests occurred on October 17 and 18 in 50 other Spanish cities, including Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Donosti, Bilbao, A Coruña, Badajoz, Cuenca and Valencia.


In Jigawa, Nigeria’s poorest state, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar III — the most powerful and respected traditional ruler in West Africa — joined 20,000 people who Stood Against Poverty on October 18, in a Summit where they called on the government to empower women and other marginalized groups through skill acquisition programs, empowerment schemes and access to micro-financing.


In Rwanda, President Kagame joined 10,000 people to Stand Against Poverty at the Rubavu Stadium, in the Western Province. The President called on Rwandans to use their hard-won peace and stability as the foundation to fight poverty, create wealth and drive development for the well being of the entire population. In Uganda, the entire Parliament stood on October 17, and members of the Parliamentary Committee on the Millennium Development Goals helped to clean the Kisenyi slum outside Kampala.



The number of people who “Stood Up and Took Action” in each region is as follows:

Africa  24,496,151

Arab States –  17,847,870

Asia  73,151,847

Europe  951,788

Latin America  211,250

North America  123,920

Oceania  210,803

Total –  116,993,629


To download photos, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/standagainstpoverty/.

To download footage, visit http://video.un-kampagne.de/ and enter the username “video” and password “uploads.”


About the Campaigns:

The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) is a civil society alliance of social movements, international NGOs, trade unions, community groups, women’s organizations, faith and youth groups, local associations and campaigners working together across more than 100 national coalitions/platforms. GCAP is calling for action from the world’s leaders to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality. In particular, GCAP demands solutions that address the issues of public accountability, just governance and the fulfillment of human rights; trade justice; more and better aid; debt cancellation; and gender equality and women’s rights. For more information, visit http://www.whiteband.org.                


The UN Millennium Campaign was established by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2002. The Campaign supports citizens’ efforts to hold their governments accountable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  The Millennium Development Goals, formally adopted by 189 countries in the year 2000, are a set of eight specific goals which commit rich and poor countries to work together to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, ensure all boys and girls complete primary school, promote gender equality, improve the health of mothers and children, reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, protect the environment, and create a global partnership for development by ensuring rich countries give more and better aid, debt relief and trade opportunities to poorer countries. For more information, visit http://www.endpoverty2015.org.

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