UN Chief says ending poverty ‘a question of justice’ on International Day

17 October 2018

Highlighting that for the United Nations, eliminating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest global challenges and priorities, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the fundamental connection between eradicating poverty and upholding equal rights for all.

“Let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice,” the UN Chief said in his message commemorating the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

He said that since the day was first marked 25 years ago, “nearly one billion people have escaped poverty, thanks to political leadership, inclusive economic development and international cooperation.”

He cited that 700 million people are still being left behind and are unable to meet their basic daily needs.

"Every year, disasters push millions of people around the world into poverty," said the UN chief, speaking at UN Headquarters. "More than ever, we can see the urgency of climate action and efforts to build resilient societies."

 "The deprivations that people living in poverty endure every day remind us that there is a fundamental connection between eradicating extreme poverty and upholding the equal rights of all people." 

On this International day for the Eradication of Poverty,” the UN Chief added, “let us commit to uphold the core pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind -UN Chief Antonio Guterres

This year's theme, Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity underscores the connection between extreme poverty and human rights. Specifically, emphasizing that people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by many human rights violations.

Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions is embodied in Goal 1 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to foster social protection systems for all.  

In his remarks at UN Headquarters to mark the 25th Commemoration of the International Day, Mr. Guterres pointed out  that poverty is not inevitable. "It is not a natural state of being or occurrence. It is most often the outcome of choices that societies have made. Today we must choose to build a fair globalization that creates opportunities for all."
 
"Inclusive growth supported by economic and social policies that empower people and provide equal opportunities make the difference."

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