Over 20 Million People “Stand Up Against Poverty” to set new Guinness World Record, announced on World Poverty Day

Published: 17 October 2006

London, 17 October 2006: Guinness World Records have officially verified that the first ever world record has been set for the most number of people to Stand Up against poverty in multiple locations over 24 hours

On 15-16 October, 23,542,614 people, in over eighty countries around the world set a new Guinness World Record for the largest number of people to “STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY”. The Stand Up record attempt, an initiative of the United Nations Millennium Campaign in partnership with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) was set in time for the United Nations International Day for Poverty Eradication on 17 October.

Cricket fans in Jaipur, India; school children in Gaza and the Westbank; crowds at a concert in the Mbare slums, Zimbabwe and a huge gathering in Times Square New York all joined for the world record attempt. People stood together: at the foot of tallest hotel in the world in Dubai; in football stadiums across Spain and Mexico; in churches throughout Africa and schools all over the world including China.

At each event, people stood up and pledged their solidarity with the world’s poorest people and demanded that governments take urgent action to end poverty and inequality and to meet and exceed the Millennium Development Goals.

The UN Millennium Campaign’s Executive Coordinator Eveline Herfkens said: “Together we have set an incredible record for the largest number of people standing up to demand action on poverty. But the record we really want to break is the world’s record of breaking promises and ignoring the poor. We don’t want to record numbers of people dying of poverty every year. This is the great issue of our times, let us become great by dealing with it decisively.”

In Johannesburg, Kumi Naidoo, spokesperson for the world’s largest anti-poverty coalition – the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) said: “Ordinary people around the world have stood up to express their passion to end poverty. Together, we have sent a clear message to our political leaders that we are going to keep pushing them to deliver on aid, on debt cancellation, on trade justice and to provide good and accountable governments. The people’s voices are growing louder. We will not rest until poverty is ended”.

United by the international symbol of the white band, the World Record number will be announced at events held at the United Nations in New York, London, Johannesburg, Milan and Nairobi today.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Millennium Campaign:
Mandy Kibel +1 212 906 6242 mandy.kibel@undp.org
Anand Kantaria +1 212 906 6783 anand.kantaria@undp.org

Sarah Jenkinson +44 7810 180237 or media@whiteband.org