New York, NY (BBN)- Shattering previous records, nearly 117 million people in 131 countries stood up last weekend as part of a United Nations-led campaign to demand that world leaders keep their promises to halve extreme poverty and achieve the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their target date of 2015.

Over 8,000 events were held around the globe, from Afghanistan and Burundi to Thailand and Uganda, as part of the “Stand Up and Take Action against Poverty” campaign held from 17 to 19 October.

“We are very proud that there has been such a massive citizen response for the Millennium Development Goals and against poverty,” Salil Shetty, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, which initiated the project, told reporters in New York on Wednesday, according to a UN press statement.

Nearly 117 million people – close to 2 per cent of the world’s population – took part in Stand Up-related events, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest social mobilization ever on a single issue. Another 5 million people took part in events that were not submitted before the Guinness deadline.

This represents a huge increase over 2006, when some 23 million people stood up against poverty, and 2007, when that number grew to almost 44 million, the statement added.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-23October08-10:11 AM (BST)