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puts in to action

Global Call to Action Against Poverty

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is a growing worldwide alliance consisting of national coalitions (or platforms) of campaigns to end poverty.

It has become the most significant global anti-poverty platform to date, claiming to have involved some 38 million people in actions in 2005 in over 75 countries and 23 million people in 2006 (so far) in over 85 countries, but it has yet to prove itself as a sustainable and broad-based global movement.

Overview

GCAP was initially a worldwide alliance committed to making world leaders live up to their promises and to making a breakthrough on poverty during 2005. However due to the success of the campaign during 2005, the 170 members of the campaign's International Facilitation Group (IFG) met in Beirut in early 2006 and unanimously agreed to continue the campaign up to December 31, 2007. At a global assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay in May 2007 the national coalitions and other constituencies voted to extend the campaigning alliance until at least 2015.

The campaign was founded at a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in late 2004 and officially launched at the World Social Forum in Brazil on the January 1, 2005.

It rapidly grew to earn its status as the largest anti-poverty campaign in the world by building on existing networks, and their strategies and activities. Currently it boasts of more than one thousand member organisations and millions of supporters worldwide.

Demands

"There is great diversity among our group, but we know that we will be more effective when we work together. We do not endeavour to reach absolute agreement on detailed policy, but we want to pressure governments to eradicate poverty, dramatically lessen inequality, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals."

The demands:

  • Public accountability, just governance and the fulfillment of human rights
  • Trade justice
  • A major increase in the quantity and quality of aid and financing for development
  • Debt cancellation

The campaign demands that gender equality be recognized as a central issue for poverty eradication. The campaign further demands that upholding the rights of children, youth, women and other excluded groups, as well as ensuring their equal participation, be recognised as fundamental to the achievement of these goals.'

Structure

The campaign operates as a coalition with a very loose structure in place. Globally it is made up of more than 1900 member organizations

There is an International Facilitation Group (IFG) that helps coordinate the campaign at an international level. Under the IFT are a number of 'Task Forces' that see too different specialised aspects of the global campaign. These include:

  • The Mobilization Task Force
  • The eCommunications Task Force
  • The Children & Youth Task Force (CYTF)
  • The Feminist Task Force

Priority is given to the national coalitions and most major decisions and actions are taken on a national level by national coalitions.

A national coalition is made up of any and all organisations, of that particular country, that are committed to making poverty a thing of the past and support GCAP's platform. The campaign is not restrictive and is currently an alliance of existing coalitions, community groups, trade unions, individuals, actors, religious and faith groups, campaigners, non-governmental organizations and more.

During the course of 2005 GCAP grew rapidly and by the end of the year the campaign boasted more the 70 national coalitions. This number has since grown to exceed 115.

Operation

The global coalition is based on the Beirut Platform (a revised version of the Johannesburg Declaration of 2005) from GCAP's review session in March 2006 in Beirut, Lebanon. The campaign operates in 4 primary languages; English, Español, Français & العربية

The campaigns website and all materials are produced in all 4 languages simultaneously.

The campaign will convene in Nairobi in January to further review the campaigns performance through 2006 and discuss the campaigns future through and beyond 2007.

Mobilisation dates

Throughout 2005 GCAP mobilised millions through a series of 'White Band Days', when the symbol was used to highlight the injustice of global poverty.

  • White Band Day 1 – July 1, 2005
  • White Band Day 2 – September 10, 2005
  • White Band Day 3 – December 10, 2005
  • White Band Day 4 – October 17, 2006 (part of the Month of Mobilization)
  • White Band Day 5 – October 17, 2007

A month of mobilization was launched on September 16 2005 (to coincide with the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank) which will build up to a climax on White Band Day 4 on the October 17 (International Day for the Eradication of Poverty). During the month, countries around the world undertook an array of actions, culminating in the global white band day. The white band remains the campaign's symbol and expression of solidarity against poverty.

During 2007 national campaigns and coalitions mobilized on key national dates as well as the international white band day.

From 1 September – 20 October 2008, concerned citizens in over 100 countries will join together again for 50 Global Days of Action Against Poverty, united by the symbol of the white band. They will be calling for governments to eradicate poverty, dramatically lessen inequality, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The main body of the UK programme for the 50 Global Days of Action currently features 23 events, with over 50 NGOs and civil society organisations involved to date. It includes opportunities to influence major international meetings, lobbying at party conferences, an activist training forum, a stunt, public meetings and a major demonstration against child poverty in the UK.

'Stand UP' Against Poverty

GCAP together with the UN-Millennium Campaign jointly set a Guinness World Record for the most number of people to ever to simultaneously 'Stand Up' against poverty within a 24 hour period. The initiative was held as a part of GCAP's Month of Mobilization and the release of the record numbers was set to coincide with the last day of the Month, The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The 24 hour period started at 10:00am GMT on the 15th of October and ended at 10:00am GMT on 16th October. The record was confirmed and released by Guinness officials on the 17th of October. The official record, that Guinness calls the largest single coordinated movement of people in the history of the Guinness World Record, is set at 23,542,614'

Stand Up events were registered in 85 countries across the world.

From 17 - 19 October 2008, citizens worldwide will attempt to break this record again. It is possible to register events at www.standagainstpoverty.org.

In the UK, around 200 events are expected as part of Stand Up and Take Action Against Poverty and Inequality. These will be supported by organisations and networks including ActionAid, WaterAid, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Stop Aids Campaign, DEA, Muslim Aid, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, CND, Skillshare, TIDAL, AMREF, Micah Challenge, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the Diocese of London, Pants to Poverty and the International Young Professionals Association.

National Campaign Coalitions

GCAP has coalitions present in over a hundred countries, a few of which are listed below, for a detailed list please see

  • 2005: plus d’excuses - France
  • Deine Stimme Gegen Armut - Germany
  • Hottokenai, Sekai no Mazushisa - Japan
  • Make Poverty History - Australia
  • Make Poverty History - Canada
  • Make Poverty History - Ireland
  • Make Poverty History - Emirates (UAE)
  • Make Poverty History - United Kingdom
  • The ONE Campaign - Singapore
  • The ONE Campaign - USA
  • SANGOCO - South Africa
  • Wada Na Todo - India
  • No More Excuses - Philippines
  • Gemeinsam gegen Armut - Switzerland

See also

References

External links

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