Marking International Day, Secretary-General Stresses ‘In Our World of Plenty, Poverty Should Have No Home’, Calls for Renewed Commitment to Achieve SDGs

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, observed on 17 October:

In our world of plenty, poverty should have no home.  Yet, as we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, nearly 700 million people are barely scraping by, living on less than $2.15 per day.

Over a billion people are deprived of basic needs like food, water, health care and education.  Billions more lack sanitation and access to energy, jobs, housing and social safety nets.  Meanwhile, conflicts, the climate crisis, discrimination and exclusion — particularly against women and girls — are deepening the distress.

This is compounded by an outdated, dysfunctional and unfair global financial system that hinders developing countries from investing in alleviating poverty and achieving the SDGs.  At current rates, almost 500 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030.

This is unacceptable.

At the SDG Summit in September, world leaders recognized the need to reform the international financial architecture and committed to a bold plan to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals and accelerate efforts to eradicate poverty everywhere.  This includes support for an SDG Stimulus of at least $500 billion per year in financing for investments to achieve this.

Leaders also agreed on targeted action aimed at alleviating poverty and suffering for all people — from transformed food and education systems to decent jobs and expanded social protection, as this year’s theme highlights.

Ending poverty is the challenge of our time.  But it is a challenge we can win.  On this important day, let’s renew our commitment to a world free of poverty.

For information media. Not an official record.