UN and Thailand Hand-in-Hand to Stand Up Against Poverty on 17 October

Hundreds to Link Hands on Bridge between Government House and UN Compound

Over 700 United Nation staff members and Thai government employees will join hands on 17 October, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to stand up and speak out against poverty.

The human chain will link up at 1050 hour on Makkawan Bridge between Government House and UN Compound in Bangkok. It will be part of the global Stand Up and Speak Out against poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals campaign. Last year, a record 23.5 million people took part worldwide. The number is expected to double this year, setting a new Guinness World Record.

Leading on the UN side will be Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Gwi-Yeop Son, UN Resident Coordinator and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Thailand. The Thai participants will be led by Khunying Dhipavadee Meksawan, Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.

Another Stand Up event will take place in the afternoon, at 1500 hour, at the Regional Office of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Siridhorn, the event will also celebrate World Food Day which falls on 16 October.

The day will begin at 0900 hour with a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok.

With “People Living in Poverty as Agents of Change” as the theme, the commemoration will start with singto (lion dance) performance by a homeless community from Bangkok, and will hear testimonies from the poor.

Ms. Noeleen Heyzer will address the event and deliver a message from UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The keynote speaker will be Khunying Dhipavadee Meksawan. An award-winning documentary film, Buddha’s Lost Children by Mark Verkerk, will have its first screening in Thailand during the commemoration which is organized by ESCAP with support from ATD Fourth World, an international non-governmental organization.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS

You are cordially invited to attend the commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and the Stand Up and Speak Out Campaign on Wednesday, 17 October 2007. Please return the confirmation form to facilitate your entrance to the UN compound.

For more information on the programme, please click on the web-links below:

Programme http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2007/oct/program.pdf
Documentary film http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2007/oct/film.pdf and
http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2007/oct/film1.pdf
Stand up http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2007/oct/stand-up.pdf and
http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2007/oct/stand-up1.pdf
Media confirmation form http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2007/oct/ Confirmation_Form_media.pdf