Canadians Join Millions Worldwide to Stand Up Against Poverty

September 16, 2010 - 10:34am

Canadians are joining millions of people around the world at “Stand Up” events this week (September 17-19) calling on world leaders to meet their promises to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are a set of eight ambitious targets aimed at significantly reducing global poverty and disease by 2015.  

Millions are gathering at Stand Up events in workplaces, places of worship, campuses, stadiums and rallies to urge world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty. Stand Up events take place in advance of a crucial UN MDG Summit from September 20th to 22nd in New York. At the Summit, world leaders including Canada’s Prime Minister, will discuss the progress made, lessons learned and critical next steps for the lifesaving Millennium Development Goals.

Make Poverty History and Stand Up campaigners around the world are calling on government leaders at the Summit to commit to a bold action plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals within five years. “Ending poverty in Canada and around the world is possible. We have the solutions. What we need is the political will,” says Dennis Howlett, National Coordinator of Make Poverty History Canada.

In 2000, leaders from 189 nations signed on to the MDGs and we are now two-thirds towards the deadline for achieving them. But with only five years to go before the 2015 deadline progress has stalled or even reversed on some of the Goals because of the impacts of climate change, the food price crisis, and the global economic crisis. Progress is also threatened by donor countries who are freezing or cutting aid budgets. Canada has announced it will freeze aid at 2010 levels in 2011.

“Strong breakthrough plans and laws are key to achieving and going beyond the Millennium Development Goals. Canada needs to step up efforts to achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. We can't do this without unfreezing Canada’s aid budget and implementing a plan to achieve the internationally agreed to target for aid spending of 0.7 per cent of gross national income,” says Howlett.

Note to Editors:

  • Dennis Howlett, Make Poverty History’s national coordinator, will be in New York for the MDG Summit between September 19-22.
  • As of September 15, over 50 Stand up events are planned to take place across Canada.  For a full list of events by city see:www.makepovertyhistory.ca/standup/events For a full listing of Stand Up events globally, go to: http://standagainstpoverty.org/suap/
  • At last year’s Stand Up events, over 173 million people around the world stood up and broke the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history.
  • Governments must address significant gaps in the implementation of the MDGs such as unmet donor aid commitments. There is also a need to more fully address ongoing issues of social exclusion, discrimination and human rights.
  • Media Backgrounders:

Canadian MDG Report: 

www.makepovertyhistory.ca/learn/issues/mdgs

Stand up 2010 Q&A:www.makepovertyhistory.ca/sites/makepovertyhistory/files/documents/2010/09/stand-up-2010-q-a.pdf

MDG Facts and Stats:www.makepovertyhistory.ca/sites/makepovertyhistory/files/documents/2010/09/mdg-facts-and-stats.pdf

Watch the Stand Up video and listen to the campus radio PSA.

For further information about Stand Up and the Millennium Development Goals check out: www.makepovertyhistory.ca/standup/media

About Make Poverty History

Make Poverty History is a national campaign to end poverty at home and abroad.  The campaign was launched in February 2005 with the support of a wide cross-section of public interest and faith groups, trade unions, students, academics and literary, artistic and sports leaders. 

Make Poverty History is part of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). National campaigns are now active in over 100 countries.

Quotes

“Ending poverty in Canada and around the world is possible. We have the solutions. What we need is the political will.”

“Strong breakthrough plans and laws are key to achieving and going beyond the Millennium Development Goals. Canada needs to step up efforts to achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. We can't do this without unfreezing Canada’s aid budget and implementing a plan to achieve the internationally agreed to target for aid spending of 0.7 per cent of gross national income.”

Dennis Howlett, National Coordinator of Make Poverty History Canada