An Update from the UN: Everyone Included

Everyone Included

The Commission for Social Development is still ongoing. It will be completed February 18th.

In preparation for the annual Commission for  Social Development, the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres submits a report on the progress of the SDG’s in light of the priority theme identified by the commission.  The priority theme is:

Inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19 for sustainable livelihoods, well-being and dignity for all: eradicating poverty and hunger in all its forms.

The Secretary General points out in his report, that poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. He reminded us that Member States pledged to leave no one behind in the implementation of Agenda 2030 and to endeavor to reach the furthest behind first.  

He indicated that this pandemic has led to the worst recession since the Great Depression (1929–1939), significantly impacting people’s jobs and livelihoods. He noted that small businesses and low-wage workers were disproportionately impacted by the present economic downturn. 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were on track to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.  The number of people living in extreme poverty ($1.90 per day) in 2021 was 613 million, however, the pandemic raised this number to 711 million (as of June 2021). The world is not on track to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 without decisive action.

The Secretary General identifies the following possible approaches to eradicating poverty and hunger.

  1. Security sustainable livelihoods
  2. Promoting well-being and enabling people to live with dignity.
  3. Improving data, new measurement tools and partnerships
  4. Investing in human capacities and basic infrastructure
  5. Fostering economic security and strengthening social protection systems,
  6. Addressing food insecurity and transforming agri-food systems.
  7. Investing in rural areas, focusing on basic infrastructure, social protection and inclusive rural transformation
  8. Closing financing gaps

 For a more comprehensive look at these recommendations read the Secretary General’s Report.

Some insights offered by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty during the Civil Society NGO thematic presentation last week on eradicating poverty is worth noting.

Mr. Olivier De Shutter, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, believes we need to move beyond defining poverty by money. Money is only one of the criteria to define who is poor. Portugal defines monetary poverty as someone who makes 1.41 Euros a day, China, $7.49 a day, Mexico, 22.49 pesos a day and Nigeria if you earn more than 335 Naira.

A multidimensional approach to poverty sees poverty as a set of deprivations in different areas, e.g. homelessness, inadequate housing, social discrimination and exclusion of participation in decision making. He asserts that social maltreatment and disempowerment are as important as a lack of income and decent work. 

We need a people centric approach, a whole society approach. He suggests that we need to

Allow people in poverty to provide their own solutions to save time and resources.  It would be wiser and a better-informed approach to tackling poverty. Throwing money at people is not the approach needed.

We can’t limit our imagination. 

Please join us this week as we continue to look at eradicating poverty and hunger in our world.

Click here to find the schedule of events for this week. Check out the UN Web TV for live and recorded sessions of the Commission.

CSF 2022

The NGO Civil Society Forum presented a Declaration on the priority theme.  It is comprehensive and it is our hope that the Commission continues its work to eradicating poverty and hunger.

To read the Declaration click here.