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To: The People of Ireland

Our Roadmap for Social Inclusion: Walking as One for an Inclusive Society

Summer 2019 will be the time when the Irish Government will launch the new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion. Let's Walk as One! Let's commit together to design and implement the best End Poverty Plan ever!

Why is this important?

The year 2017 marked twenty years since Ireland’s first comprehensive plan to address poverty: the National Anti-Poverty Strategy 1997-2006.

The year 2018 marked key anniversary for End Poverty activists and for the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights! The 30th anniversary of the death of Joseph Wresinski, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela (who launched the Make Poverty History Campaign) and the 70 years of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The year 2019 is starting with the Centenary of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann which occurred on 21 January 1919 in the Round Room of the Dublin Mansion House. In this first and highly symbolic meeting, the proceedings of the Dáil were conducted for the only time entirely in the Irish language, except for previously drafted declarations including the proclamation of the "Democratic Programme" including the following pledge: "It shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education and training as Citizens of a Free and Gaelic Ireland."

On the day of the Centenary, the Irish Times in partnership with the Children Rights' Alliance launched the #NoChild2020 campaign! No Child 2020 is an initiative by Fintan O'Toole and other Irish Times' journalists aiming to provide a sustained focus on child welfare and children’s issues over the coming year.

We believe that Ireland needs a new Integrated Framework for Social Inclusion, to tackle inequality and poverty.

We know Ireland faces major challenges:

- to end the Housing Crisis
- to deliver the SlainteCare’s vision for a better and fairer health system
- to tackle Child Poverty and the poverty faced by the children's families
- to implement the 17 Global Goals set down in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including action to limit climate change with a strong concern for climate justice
- to become a society with communities ready to leave no one behind, the promise of the UN 2030 Agenda

If we are serious about tackling these issues, and serious about lifting people out of poverty and eliminating its causes, we must have a consistent, comprehensive plan to address poverty and social exclusion.

Such a plan will only succeed if it is owned by civil society at large and also by the people experiencing poverty, not just politicians and the organisations that work to combat inequality and exclusion.

Our call to action: let's walk as one to end poverty!

In the follow-up of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 2018),
as Ireland marks the Centenary of the Democratic Programme,
strengthened by the launch of the "No Child 2020" initiative,
inspired by the "End Poverty" legacies of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela,
inspired also by the pledge of Joseph Wresinski: "To come together is our solemn duty,"
and following the call by Mary Robinson and the Elders to "Walk Together",

we seek a new approach.

Let's bring everyone who wants to make a difference together! All stakeholders: public bodies, teachers, trainers and researchers, corporates and services, youth groups and pensioners, and the people who fight against the poverty and stigma that they experience.

Let's say:

"We – citizens, workers, leaders, managers, carers, parents, activists or professionals or both – are ready to be part of the End Poverty plan. We all need to own this plan: to know the goals and own them.

Together we wish to take part in a strong participatory process to make the next Anti-Poverty Plan the best ever. Those who live with poverty and social exclusion deserve it. They also should have the opportunity help develop this new plan. And when the plan is in place they should be able to play their part to ensure it is implemented.

I have a role to play and I support this call to action and would like to be involve in the design, implementation and monitoring of our common plan!”

Let us leave no one behind! All together in dignity!"

How it will be delivered

This call to action has been launched in Leinster House on End Poverty Day 2017, 17 October 2017. ATD Ireland & other groups are now collecting signatures. End of July 2019 will be the time to assess this mobilisation at the time when the plan will be launched.

Responding to the feedback this call, ATD and friend organisations plan to initiate a dialogue with the signatories and with the team of the Minister Regina Doherty TD in charge of the implementation of the plan.