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United Nations' Day for the Eradication of Poverty Briefing 167
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Global Call to Action Against Poverty

United Nations' Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Briefing 167 October 2007


In 2005 the biggest ever anti-poverty movement came together under the banner of Make Poverty History. UNISON members in Scotland played a vital role in the success of the Edinburgh events. UNISON is again asking members to support the fight against poverty through a Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) and a global day of action on October 17th to put pressure on world leaders to take urgent action to end poverty and equality. UNISON Scotland is asking members to email Gordon Brown asking him to take the lead on this important issue.

Global Call to Action against Poverty

GCAP is the world's largest civil society movement. National coalitions from over a hundred countries, including trade unions, community groups, charities and faith groups are joining together to demand:

  • Public accountability, just governance and the fulfilment of human rights
  • Trade justice
  • Increase in the quality and quantity of aid
  • Debt cancellation
  • Gender equality at the heart of eradicating poverty

Last October 17th over 23 million people Stood Up Against Poverty across the world. As well as raising awareness of the issues the event set a Guinness World Record. This year the actions will be bigger and bolder. UNISON is urging members to continue their support for the fight against poverty and injustice.

Day of Action

Across the world delegates will be meeting with world leaders urging them to take action in the fight against poverty. A delegation will attend the Annual Meeting of the international financial institutions (World Bank and IMF) with specific demands. Individual politicians will also be targeted. In Scotland plans include: themed action cards sent to Gordon Brown; public meetings in key MPs' constituencies; an advocacy event at the Scottish Parliament and a Poverty Requiem in St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow.

UNISON is focusing on asking world leaders to work harder to achieve those Millennium Goals which relate to the delivery of and access to public services(see further info section).Issues which members understand through their roles in the delivery of public services in Scotland.

  • Access to sanitation and drinking water through public water provision
  • Reduced maternal and child mortality through improved access to health care
  • Universal primary education equal girls enrolment in primary school

Action for Branches

UNISON is urging members to support the day of action by organising a mass emailing of Gordon Brown: linking their work in public services with the campaign for free public services the world's poorest countries. Members can either send their own letters/emails or use the link on the UNISON website to send a pre written email.

  • Encourage as many members as possible to contact Gordon Brown.
  • Organise events in workplaces on 17th October. Have someone read the STAND UP and SPEAK OUT pledge. Ask everyone to crouch down, then to STAND UP
  • Count all the people and report the numbers on www.standagainstpoverty.org. Take pictures and add to website
  • Promote your workplace event in the local media
  • Attend public meetings organised in their own areas. Details on the GCAP website.
  • Support the Poverty requiem on October 17th. Tickets are available on the door. Rehearsals on 9th and 16th October

Sample letter

This letter/email and versions for education, health and utilities workers are available on the UNISON Scotland website to use as automated e-cards or to copy as letters or emails. There is also an e-card on the GCAP website.

Contact details for Gordon Brown:

RT Hon Gordon Brown MP
Constituency Office
Unit B
318/324 High Street
Or the Downing Street contact page.


Dear Mr Brown

I am contacting you today to ask you to STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT against poverty and inequality on October 17th and support the Global Call to Action against Poverty.

In September 2005 you said that

"We owe it to all the people who suffer needless pain and avoidable deaths, owe it to every child denied the chance to go to school, owe it to every human being who goes hungry every night, let us join together to affirm that, to finally and truly make poverty history, Britain will lead a worldwide effort to ensure for the poorest countries free public services, universal free schooling for all children and free universal health care for all who need it."

As a public service worker I recognise the key role of the public sector in the fight to eradicate poverty. I applaud your commitment to free public services. I urge to use your influence to push other leaders to keep their promises. There is a real opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people. Please STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT


Please support the Global day of Action against Poverty and ensure that the work you started at Make Poverty History in 2005 continues. Let the P and I team know about your plans and send in photographs of your activities after the event.


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Further Information

See UNISON Scotland Global Call pages and send an email to Gordon Brown


Kay Sillars

Dave Watson -

@ The P&I Team
14 West Campbell St
Glasgow G26RX
Tel 0845 355 0845
Fax 0141-307 2572