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President on the occasion of International Anti-Poverty Day

Ljubljana, 10/16/2007  |  press release

Message from the President, Dr Janez Drnovšek on the occasion of tomorrow’s International Anti-Poverty Day:

“On this year's International Anti-Poverty Day we observe that the world still faces serious poverty threats. The poverty still blights our world and the poverty gap remains the highest in sub-Saharian Africa. The data revealing that in the 21st century one billion people live below the absolute poverty threshold, meaning they have to subsist on less than a dollar or half euro a day, are alarming. Hundreds of millions of people in developing countries spin in the vicious circle of poverty and underdevelopment, dealing with problems associated with health, education and gender exclusion. The distribution of wealth is too unfair and generates many wrongs and wars as well as terrorism.

The developed world has sources, knowledge and ability to rescue the developing countries from the poverty, malnutrition, disease and lack of education and still, not enough is done. By becoming a full member of the EU, Slovenia officially joined the economically most developed countries; therefore, we are able to and must contribute to reducing the world poverty and the global gap between developed and under-developed countries. Competent state institutions and services can, in cooperation with humanitarian and non-governmental organizations which are fruitfully engaged in this area, create and carry out more efficient activities and programmes in the area of humanitarian help and development cooperation.

Our society has to recognize suffering endured by the majority of humankind and has to become more sensitive to distress of people with whom we share life on this planet. So let us call the attention to issues of ultimate poverty and encourage others to help people in such distress. Let us stop being greedy and let us raise above our own selfishness and look around the world. We should stop the self-destructive competition and become Human. We have to achieve greater justice and sustainable development, build more just global relations, diminish and eliminate suffering of the hungry, sick and abandoned. This is the only way for humanity to survive.”
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