In preparation for the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals next week, three recently published reports on poverty will be presented on Friday 17 September at the UN Headquarters in New York. Poverty reduction is a central figure of the international development agenda, and strategies and policies to address it are multiple.
The event this week will offer a platform to debate the most effective ways at reducing poverty rates around the world. The discussion will include presentations by the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and the Chronic Poverty Research Centre.
Each of the reports featured at the discussion address different facets of poverty-reduction, but together they examine what works and what has gone wrong in international policy decisions, and the range of measures that countries can adopt to alleviate poverty.
The following offers a short summary of each report:
- Disputes the contemporary vision of poverty reduction and affirms that eradicating poverty requires actions leading to sustainable economic growth, employment creation and social development as an integrated framework of economic and social policies.
The commitment made in the MDGs is to eradicate absolute poverty by halving the number of people living on less than US$1.25 a day.
- Seeks to explain why people are poor and why inequalities exist, and argues that eradicating poverty requires actions that combine economic development objectives with active social policies and forms of politics that elevate the interests of the poor in public policy.
- Explains five main traps that underpin chronic poverty and outlines key policy responses to these areas, emphasising the need for a ‘just social compact’ between citizens and states.
The number of people living on less than US$1.25 a day declined from 1.9 billion in 1981 to 1.4 billion in 2005.