The promotion of peace, democracy, social justice and equality for all peoples and in all nations is at the core of Education International's mandate. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, celebrated on 17 October, is thus a good opportunity for EI and its member organisations to highlight the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) the largest ever civil society anti-poverty movement. EI has firmly supported the campaign since its inception last year.
Half the world - three billion people - live on less than two dollars a day and one billion people entered the 21st century unable to read or even sign their name. According to UNICEF, 30,000 children die each day of poverty. "However, these statistics and definitions fail to capture the reality, the sheer powerlessness and hardship of people trapped in poverty," says Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of Education International.
Despite the commitments of world leaders to end poverty and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, action is still too little, too late, and falls far short of the needs. To raise awareness and put pressure on world leaders, EI invited its member organisations to participate in the "STAND UP" challenge on 15-16 October 2006. "STAND UP" is an attempt to set an official Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people ever to Stand Up Against Poverty.
Last year, EI together with its members and partners of the Global Campaign for Education had joined the White Band rallies. All these activities are part of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) which calls on governments of all countries, rich and poor, to keep their promises to meet the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty and hunger, and achieving primary education for all.