Citizens' voices against poverty will crescendo in noises heard around the world

09 Sep 2010

Citizens will make their expectations that governments achieve the millennium development goals too loud to ignore at events across the globe on September 17-19.

On September 17-19, people across the globe will turn up the volume on their call for heads of state gathering at the United Nations on September 20-22 to demonstrate leadership in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 

Citizens will gather at events across continents to amplify their support for the eight MDGs, a set of targets to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes by 2015 that marks its tenth anniversary this week. They will be singing, chanting, blowing whistles, playing drums, blowing vuvuzelas, banging pots and pans and setting off alarm clocks. The sounds of these noises emanating from villages, towns and cities around the world as part of the three day mobilization “Stand Up, Take Action, Make Noise for the MDGs” will make citizens’ commitments to track and support their countries’ achievement of the Goals visible, vocal and impossible to ignore.

“The Secretary General’s recent report on the Millennium Development Goals has made it clear that with only five years until the deadline by which world leaders have promised to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes, the active partnership of citizens and governments is more important than ever,” said Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign. “The citizens participating in ‘Stand Up and Take Action’ on September 17-19 will make it clear to heads of state gathering at the United Nations the following week that they support and want to be a part of the realization of the Goals.” 

The mobilization will serve as a launching point for a new initiative of real-time monitoring by citizens of basic service delivery in their communities. The availability of and access to quality, reliable and consistent basic services are essential for the MDGs to be realized at the country level. The Millennium Campaign will work with governments, civil society, technology partners and the media to launch pilot citizen tracking programs in India and Kenya in 2011.

Note to editors:

“Stand Up” events being organized across the globe include:

•Concerts across Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Korea, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zimbabwe, where local artists will sing their support of the MDGs.

• In Jordan, 40,000 children are expected to simultaneously blow whistles in support of the MDGs, in an attempt to set a new world record.

• In India, “Stand Up” will kick off with a film festival on September 17.

• In New York City, Lincoln Plaza will be the hub of Stand Up activity on September 19, with exhibitions on promises and progress to end poverty as well as speakers and performers.

• In Paris, French citizens and civil society organizations are organizing a flash mob and Stand Up moment in front of the Eiffel Tower on September 18.

• In Washington, D.C. citizens will come together with local musicians, drummers and bands just two blocks from the White House, to amplify their voices in support of the MDGs.

• In the Philippines, various fiestas in towns and cities nationwide will be dedicated to the call for the achievement of the MDGs, including events from September 17-19 where citizens will play indigenous materials including coconuts and bamboo guitars.

• In Colombia, the United Nations, in partnership with the National Soccer League, will invite 30,000 spectators at one of the most important soccer matches of the season to Stand Up on September 19.

• In Egypt, religious leaders will give sermons calling for an end to poverty in more than 50,000 mosques and at Sunday masses in churches across the country. A national youth rally will take place on September 17 at the historic site of the Giza pyramids, entitled “The Sphinx Stands Against Poverty.”

The “Stand Up and Take Action” mobilization comes amidst an ongoing process of citizen engagement with their leaders in support of the MDGs. Upcoming activities include the launch of an alternate report on MDG progress in India and the Philippines on September 15; a dedicated MDG Week in the Philippines House of Representatives where citizens will launch a roadmap for poverty reduction; and a collective appeal in support of the MDGs to be presented to the government of Nepal on September 15.

Last year, more than 173 million people participated in “Stand Up,” setting a new Guinness World Record. “Stand Up and Take Action” is organized globally by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, in collaboration with a wide range of partners, including the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP).

For event listings, photos, sounds from Stand Up events and more information, visit www.standagainstpoverty.org

About the UN Millennium Campaign
The UN Millennium Campaign was established by the UN Secretary General in 2002. The Campaign supports citizens’ efforts to hold their governments to account for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.  The Millennium Development Goals were adopted by 189 world leaders from rich and poor countries, as part of the Millennium Declaration which was signed in 2000. These leaders agreed to achieve the Goals by 2015. Our premise is simple: we are the first generation that can end poverty and we refuse to miss this opportunity. For more information, visit www.endpoverty2015.org

Contact Information

Media Contact for b-roll, interviews and further information:
Kara Alaimo
+1 212-906-6399
kara.alaimo@undp.org