Prime Minister Dr. Miro Cerar, (Slovenia)
Prime Minister Mr. Ralph Gonzalves, (Saint Vincent & Grenadines)
It is a great privilege to join this highly significant Summit of our times.
The ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda that was adopted this morning can open a new era of prosperity and well being for all.
Poverty eradication remains the most important unfinished agenda for humanity.
It is recognized, in the Post 2015 Agenda, as the paramount global challenge and an indispensable pre-requisite for sustainable development.
Hunger is an important manifestation and consequence of poverty.
Our dialogue today is therefore extremely important.
MDGs inspired global efforts towards human development and poverty eradication. We have witnessed significant progress during the last 15 years in achieving the MDG target of halving the number of people living below the poverty line.
But when we dissect the underlying data, we find that a major portion of this reduction is attributable to China. If the China’s outstanding performance in reducing poverty is put aside, the MDG target for vast majority of developing countries has not been achieved. This challenge becomes even more serious when the World Food Summit target of halving the percentage of people below the poverty line is taken into account. These will require special attention.
Around a billion people or one sixth of the mankind continue to be extremely poor and over two billion are still poor on the definition of $2 a day.
The number of chronically under nourished people is also correspondingly large and fluctuates from one year to the next.
The chronic causes of poverty – lack of access to assets or income earning opportunities and inability to participate effectively in the product or labour market are now aggravated by several new challenges.
These include climate change and the resultant natural disasters plus global, regional and local wars that are swelling the flood of refugees and pushing millions more into deep and de-humanizing poverty.
I hope the International Community as a whole will now recognize that the proposed SDG target for eliminating poverty by 2030, will be difficult to achieve through a continuation of existing policies or “business as usual” approach. It will require:
– Renewed political commitment to accord the highest priority to this goal in all decisions and actions at the global, regional and national levels, since the real obstacles are essentially political.
– A systemic elimination of all policies at the global and national levels discriminate against poor farmers, poor fishermen and poor households by giving them enhanced market access.
– Support special programmes to promote inclusive growth and assist in expanding education and income earning skills for the poorest segments of the population in every country.
– Fulfilling the unfinished ODA commitments and mobilizing much larger public and private resources, specially for least development countries, as Sustainable Goal 17 calls for.
– Improving the terms of trade for developing countries by addressing technology and capacity issues.
– Much greater emphasis on promoting employment and protecting real wages in global and national policies.
– Upscaling and expanding legal, institutional and development programmes for the empowerment of women and other deprived communities in all countries.
– Targeting micro-finance to the needs of the poor and ensuring access to the credit market for the poor and small farmers.
– Much larger international support for successful social safety net programmes in developing countries. Pakistan has evolved such programmes and their details can be shared with you
– Effective adaption and mitigation of the impact of climate change on vulnerable sectors, like agriculture and those living in flood prone areas, through well managed Disaster Management Authorities.
– Greatly expanding resources available with international organizations responsible for refugees and disasters to ensure that children affected by civil wars, terrorism or national disaster get the required nutrition and do not suffer irreparable damage to their further growth.
Revitalized global partnership and enabling international environment is critical for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030 and halving poverty in all its other dimensions.
Last modified: November 20, 2019
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