“Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”

This is the United Nations theme for October 17, 2020, the World Day for Overcoming Poverty. 

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is held every year on 17 October. It is an official international day of the United Nations and was instituted in 1992 by the General Assembly. 17 October was the date chosen in memory of the call of a French priest, Joseph Wresinski (founder ATD Fourth World), who on 17 October 1987 launched the first ever tribute to the victims of poverty and called to rescue the most impoverished individuals. 

Celebrated at the UN for the first time in 1993, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty aims at echoing the voices of the poorest people and isolated populations and at promoting change leading to a society based on human dignity and access to human rights for all. The International Movement ATD Fourth (All Together in Dignity) is a non-governmental organization with no political or religious affiliation. Its primary aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and exclusion around the world by involving the people who suffer from it. ATD Fourth World was founded in 1957 by Father Joseph Wresinski and families who lived in a camp for homeless people in the Paris region. They sparked a movement that gives priority to the poorest people and brings together activists with first-hand experience of poverty, members of an international volunteer corps who work long-term in solidarity with them, and a wide range of friends and sup-porters, who take action together to foster lasting change in society. Present in 2019 in 33 countries on five continents, ATD Fourth World runs projects that promote family life, social advocacy, and professional development. 

“People who live in extreme poverty are often the most affected by climate and environmental change. While they are already taking action to resist poverty, today they are also facing the consequences of these new challenges. On October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the United Nations ensures that their knowledge, contributions and experience are recognized and celebrated. This year, an online global commemoration will share video messages from people and communities living in poverty and facing the adverse effects of environmental degradation and climate change and mobilize to address them. In 2020 a collective awareness is growing: we share the Earth and we all have to answer for the environmental impact of our actions. We also know that we all have a responsibility for enabling each person to live in dignity and to take part in making this happen. October 17 is therefore an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all. 

The Economy of Francesco would like to contribute to celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty by organizing an online conversation with Xavier Godinot, Research Director (International Movement ATD Fourth World), graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and PhD in Economics. He has been a permanent volunteer in the (ATD) since September 1974. He has held coordination positions in research and action in France, Belgium, the UK and Madagascar, at local, regional and international level. He was a delegate for International Relations at the headquarters of the International Movement ATD Fourth World in France, prior to becoming Research Director at ATD Fourth World’s Joseph Wresinski Research Institute. He is currently conducting international participatory research with Oxford University on “Determining the dimensions of poverty and how to measure them”, which implements the Merging of Knowledge approach. In this project, people living in poverty are part of the national research teams in six countries, alongside academics and practitioners.

The webinar, entitled How do we measure poverty?, will focus on extreme poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon. Godinot will dialogue with Martha Pancheva, Assistant Professor of Economics, (Sophia University) and John Paul Yumul, Lecturer on the Economy, Society and Sustainable Development (Manila University). Introduction by Luigino Bruni, Scientific Director of The Economy of Francesco. ATD Fourth World’s Joseph Wresinski Research Institute works on the question of measuring poverty on three fronts:

  • With people living in poverty, to include them as partners in building knowledge on development;
  • With researchers and international organizations, to find the best ways to measure poverty;
  • With governments and international organizations, to ensure that multidimensional measures of poverty are included in international sustainable development goals.

We will talk about this on October 15th at 4.00 P.M. (UTC+2)