Date of Meeting: 17 October 2017

Meeting Organizer: United Nations Department of Economic And Social Affairs; International Movement ATD Fourth World

ISJC Staff Present: Lt Jemimah Ayanga, Capt Fouzia Mubarik, Jacob Hevenor

Reporter: Lt Jemimah Ayanga, Jacob Hevenor

Which SDG does this topic cover? 1

Type of meeting: Commemoration ceremony with a list of speakers

Brief summary of presentation of information made

“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty”. –Joseph Wresinski, 17 October 1987


Introduction: Omar Lebron, Master of Ceremonies

The day marks out 25 years of celebration since Father Joseph Wresinski, founder of ATD Fourth World, committed to ending poverty. The system to End Poverty strives for a peaceful society, echoing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN. It is time to work a little bit harder to eradicate poverty. He said he believes in a world without poverty.


Video Address from United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Mr. Antonio Guterres

  • He opened his remarks by saying that we need to stand in solidarity. 800 million people live in extreme poverty.
  • There is high risk of insecurity, inequality, high rate of unemployment and conflict. We need a peaceful society to end poverty.
  • People need to recognize the root causes of poverty and be able to use the sustainable goals to eradicate it. He urges everyone to join hands together in dignity.


Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

  • He talked of the fundamental rights of every individual.
  • A young girl in Kenya mobilised women to plant trees, and this became a nice solution to them. Life then became easier.
  • Poverty is not something that is easy to eradicate, but the number of people leaving extreme poverty shows that action really does make a difference.


Seamus Neville, Irish advocate; Alex Begay, Navajo Nation advocate; Angélique Jeanne, French advocate; Adrien Delva, Haitian advocate; Mahamadou Koné, Malian advocate

  • (Each speaker had personal experience with poverty. They committed to taking action so that others did not have to suffer as they did.)
  • Even in hard times, it is important to cultivate the lives of our children, so that they can have the opportunity to learn and grow to break from the cycle of poverty.
  • Poor families have nowhere to speak up or cry out, because they often fear they will be judged.
  • Poverty makes children mature too quickly, so they lose the chance to be a child.
  • Everyone has a place in society. We can seek out the most tired and abandoned people to help them find their place.
  • There is no risk in fighting extreme poverty. The only direction to go is up.


H.E. Yemdaogo Eric Tiare, Representative of Burkina Faso to the UN

  • The disdain people show towards those in extreme poverty, rather than a desire to help, is one of the most concerning parts of the problem.
  • In Burkina Faso more than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.
    • The country is starting to implement a number of programs for the improvement of social well-being.


H.E. François Delattre, Representative of France to the UN

  • The fight against poverty is at the heart of the UN itself. This meeting is not like other meetings – it gets to the very core of why we are here.
  • Violence is one of the biggest contributors to poverty, and peace is the opposite of violence. Therefore, we must counter poverty with peace.
  • We must come hand-in-hand and build a world based on solidarity. France is committed – President Macron spoke at the GA about making the fight against poverty a priority.
  • France is especially focusing on youth and children, and making sure that they are not excluded from opportunity.



Donald Lee, President of the International Committee for 17 October

  • Wresinski said that life outside of poverty is not just about income, but about living a life with freedom and human rights.
  • Peace is the universal goal for all people, and no one will be left behind.


Isabelle Pypaert-Perrin, Director General of ATD Fourth World

  • Kids in poverty are asked about their dreams, and their response is, “I never dream. Because what’s the point if I’ll never reach them anyway?”
  • We must put an end to this kind of perspective.


After the meeting, the group left the UN building and went out to the garden. There, six children read the statement in six different languages of Joseph Wresinski’s commitment to end poverty. H.E. Mr François Delattre spoke again, as well as Martine Le Corre, the Deputy Director General of ATD Fourth World. There were musical performances from classical guitarist Tye Austin, drummer Tyrone Owusu Slater and the Lavender Light Choir gospel choir.


What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

Whether we are born in poverty or not says nothing about our character. Breaking the cycle of poverty is one of the targets of End Poverty Day and The Salvation Army as a whole. We need to choose responsibility for one another and with one another.

The answer to extreme poverty is to unite in our fight to free humanity. We have no other choice to make. We must not ignore one another and we must not abandon one another.

Together we need to find the path to peace- Peace that is anchored in everyone’s heart, will endure and will banish forever the violence of extreme poverty.


Web links for more information, a site run by ATD Fourth World World Bank poverty site General André Cox’s commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030

Tags: United Nations, SDG1: No Poverty