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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Peace Boat gets under way carrying antipoverty message


Yokohama — The latest round-the-world voyage by the nongovernmental organization Peace Boat that kicked off this week features an antipoverty photo exhibition in a tieup with the U.N. Development Program.

The Oceanic cruise ship left Yokohama on Tuesday on the 74th voyage organized by the Tokyo-based NGO aimed at promoting international exchanges.

The photo exhibit to be held in some of the cities it will visit on its 101-day voyage through Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America, highlights the work being done to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

"I hope people will acknowledge that developed countries are responsible for ending poverty," Peace Boat international coordinator Yoko Takayama said while the vessel was still docked in Yokohama.

"After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Japan received plenty of support from across the world, including impoverished countries. We shouldn't forget about that," Takayama said.

Titled "Picture This: We Can End Poverty," the exhibition is part of the global campaign to help fulfill the U.N. Millennium Development Goals on poverty reduction, set in 2000 for achievement in 2015.

On display will be 22 photos taken by amateurs and professionals and chosen from among some 3,400 works in a global contest organized jointly by the UNDP, optical equipment and camera maker Olympus Corp. and the AFP Foundation, a nonprofit body set up by the French news agency Agence France-Presse.

Along with the display of the photographs, which mostly capture moments from the lives of people in need, workshops on poverty issues and the development goals will be held on board the ship during its voyage.

The United Nations set eight goals to be achieved by 2015, including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality and reducing child mortality.

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