Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first marked at a major public rally held on 17 October 1987 in Paris, which was organised by ATD Fourth World. In 1992, the United Nations declared the 17 October as the International Day.
In 2008, an International Committee for October 17 was established to promote the awareness and commemoration of the UN Day around the world. From 12th to 14th May 2014, this International Committee will gather in Dublin for its biennial working meeting.
The Committee chose to meet in the Irish capital city because in ways Ireland has exhibited a strong commitment to the central message of UN Day, namely that poverty can only be truly eradicated when the voices and experiences of people and families most affected by poverty are listened to and taken into account.
- For a number of years, the Department for Social Protection has supported the promotion of the UN Day through grants to organisation and community groups (special funding initiative to promote the UN Day),
- In 2008, public officials and citizens from all walks of life inaugurated a Commemorative Stone close to the Famine Memorial, Custom House Quay, bearing the appeal from 17 October 1987 of Joseph Wresinski, the founder of ATD,
- An Irish National 17 October Committee is responsible for planning and staging the 17 October Commemoration in Dublin annually in order to highlight the reality of poverty in people’s lives and the need to seek solutions based on equity and justice.