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ICT for Poverty Reduction..


Three billion people – half the world’s population – live on less than $2 a day. In a world of great wealth, in a world of scientific and technological wonders, in a world in which people are more aware than ever before of how 'the other half lives', that should be unacceptable… Extreme poverty is an affront to human dignity and human rights.”  --UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

To focus attention on the reality that one-fifth of humankind lives on a little more than one dollar a day, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be observed at United Nations Headquarters on 17 October. Eugen Brand, Director-General, ATD Fourth World Movement, will speak at a press conference at 11:15 a.m. in Room S-226, which will also feature Ambassador Jean-David Levitte, the Permanent Representative of France; Charles McNeill, Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Reduction Adviser, Equator Initiative, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and Benson Venegas of Costa Rica’s Iniciativa Talamanca, a recipient of UNDP’s Equator Prize 2002.  UNDP is recognizing local successes in reducing poverty, and will award a $30,000 Equator Prize check to Iniciativa Talamanca and to 26 other communities in 19 countries around the world.

Also that day, a ceremony will be held in the United Nations Garden from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., featuring testimony from people living in poverty and music by the Young People's Chorus of New York City.  The ceremony, at the Garden’s Commemorative Stone dedicated to the victims of poverty, will be addressed by, among others, Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; a representative of the UNDP Administrator; Ambassador Levitte and Ambassador Michael Kafando, the Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso, who will share a personal testimony; Dr. Margaret Varma, of Rutgers University; Eugen Brand; and a grass-roots representative of UNDP's Equator Initiative.

Children from the Tapori Movement -- the children’s branch of ATD Fourth World -- will make a theatre presentation illustrating the support that children and their families need to strengthen their commitment to overcoming poverty.  They will lead members of the audience in creating a mosaic, which will be offered in the afternoon to the International Forum for Social Development. From 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., experts from the International Forum on Social Development, which is meeting at United Nations Headquarters on 16 and 17 October, will meet with delegates of the General Assembly’s Second and Third Committees in Conference Room 1.  An initiative of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs launched last February, the International Forum brings together personalities from governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector and civil society for an informal dialogue on global issues of development and social progress.


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