A Guinness World Record shattered last weekend when 173,045,325 citizens gathered at over 3,000 events in more than 120 countries, demanding that their governments eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!” campaign, now in its fourth year, has been certified by Guinness World Records as the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history, an increase of about 57 million people over last year.
“The more than 173 million people who mobilized this weekend sent a clear message to world leaders that there is massive, universal, global demand for eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” said Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. “In particular, we have seen citizens determined to show their governments that they will hold them accountable for keeping their promises to end hunger, improve maternal health and abolish trade-distorting agricultural subsidies. They will not accept excuses for breaking promises to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, who have already been hardest hit by the global food, economic and climate crises they had no role in causing.”
More than 100 million people participated (101,106,845) this year in Asia alone. Currently 1 billion people around the world are hungry and 500,000 women continue to die annually as the result of pregnancy and childbirth. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable. The mobilization was organized globally by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, in partnership with a range of organizations including the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). “Stand Up” was also supported by the entire United Nations system, with events organized by United Nations Information Centers (UNICs) across the globe.