Mr. Speaker, October 17 has been proclaimed World Day for the refusal of misery by the United Nations. The theme of that day, which is dedicated to the victims of poverty, is “Children want a world that is fair to everyone. With them, let us refuse misery”.
This day will stress the exclusion and isolation experienced on a daily basis by an increasing number of women, men and children, while also urging us to take a hard look at our way of doing things, so as to eliminate this wall of shame for our society.
Beyond any statistical consideration, poverty means being excluded from any form of full participation as a citizen; it means that one cannot participate in the benefits of economic growth and it also suppresses the fundamental right to work. Poverty means the outright withdrawal of freedom of speech for those who are affected by it.
Tackling poverty is an enormous challenge. We must do so with determination, with our heads high, and we must not be afraid of telling things as they are, while being receptive to those who live in poverty.