By: Marc Gancedo 

October 17 of 1987, hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the Trocadero in Paris to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. There, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had been signed in 1945. After its adoption in 1992 by the General Assembly through resolution 47/196, the 17th of October was declared as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The main goal of celebrating this day is raising awareness on an issue that has always haunted humanity and which continues to be a problem, particularly in developing countries. Following the Copenhagen Social Summit in December 1995, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997–2006). At the Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half the number of people living in extreme poverty by the year 2015. This was not achieved and the 2030 Agenda was later set establishing 17 sustainable development goals, among which, eradicating poverty stands as the first.

During the course of the current pandemic, it has been repeated time and time again that the virus acts as a great equalizer making no distinction on gender, race, creed and social standing. However, there is no denying that impoverished people are more likely to be affected due to limited access to health care and sanitation as well as other factors that are mutually reinforcing to poverty. In January, the World Bank estimated that the pandemic had brought between 119 and 124 million people into extreme poverty around the globe in 2020. [1]

Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) remains committed to ending poverty in all its forms everywhere which is why we ask the international community to honour its commitment and seeing to the eradication of poverty. The developed world must ensure that the developing world is not left behind in these trying times. Governments across the world must find common ground in the fight against poverty. GICJ calls on the international community to focus its efforts and resources on this struggle instead of waging endless wars against each other. The international community cannot allow the pandemic to continue widening the inequality gap and heighten poverty even more.


[1] https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/updated-estimates-impact-covid-19-global-poverty-turning-corner-pandemic-2021

Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International For Justice

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