Poverty Eradication and Inequality Reduction – Key Goals for Development

images-7A ministerial dialogue was convened this morning about poverty eradication and inequality reduction. Before the start of the discussion, ECOSOC President Mr. Sajdik addressed how inequality remains to be the biggest obstacle in achieving poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Ms. Holguin identified poverty eradication, inequality reduction and sustainable consumption and production as key challenges to development. Since income presents only a simplified and partial image of poverty, she introduced a tool called the Multidimensional Poverty Index that was used by Columbia to address the complex and multi-dimensional nature of poverty. She stressed the need for consolidated economic and financial systems, and strong participation of developing countries in the decision-making process to dismiss poverty and inequality. Enhancing quality of education, promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, as well as mobilizing private sectors are conducive to achieving the goal of irreversible poverty eradication.

Ms. Karmasin stated the need to strengthen and mainstream children’s rights at all levels, and stimulate policy dialogue on children. She ended by saying “sustainable development starts with children and ends with children. Children are the leverage of breaking the cycle of poverty, malnutrition and lack of education. It ends with children because healthy and educated children are the foundation for sound, inclusive sustainable development.”

Dlamini pointed out how the right to development is critical for building more sustainable societies. Increased investment in children, healthcare and social protection are means to address childhood poverty in her country, South Africa.

Ms. Kurmangaliyeva called for inclusive and fair economic development. This can be achieved through maximizing the potential economic development and building a roadmap for poverty eradication that stresses i) productive employment, ii) creation of a middle class in search of a stable society iii) access to medical care and social assistance and iv) development of rural infrastructure.

Mr. Li highlighted industrialization as the most successful way to reduce poverty and attain sustainable economic gains. He discussed the role of inclusive and sustainable industrial development in reducing inequality, ensuring environmental sustainability and building industrial linkages to achieve long-term equality.


Meeting Title:“Long term measures to make poverty eradication irreversible and reduce inequalities
Speakers : H.E. Martin Sajdik, President of the Economic and Social Council; Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF; H.E. Ms. Maria Angela Holguin, , Minister of Foreign Affairs, Colombia; H.E. Ms. Sophie Karmasin, Federal Minister for Family and Youth, Austria; H.E. Ms. Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Social Development, South Africa; H.E. Ms. Aida Kurmangaliyeva, Executive Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, Kazakhstan; Mr. Yong Li, Director General, UNIDO
Location: Trusteeship Council, UNHQ, New York
Date: 8 July 2014
Written By WIT representative: Tracy Lau
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Consumer Information and Sustainable Consumption and Production

As part of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, a side event was held to discuss the availability of consumer information, and its impact on sustainable consumption and production (proposed goal 12 of the sustainable development goals). Beginning the meeting, the Vice-President of ECOSOC gave a statement on the launch of the Consumer Information Programme, which provides accurate information about the sustainability of various goods and services and helps to guide consumers towards more sustainable choices. By 2030, the global population of middle class consumers will increase by 2-3 billion people, putting more stress on the environment and natural resources, and making it vital for the world to consume more efficiently with less of an impact.

ImageFollowing, H.E. Mr. Thoms stated how sustainable consumption and production encompass all dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social, and environment), and that it’s important to inform consumers about sustainable consumption and production so they can direct their purchasing power towards more sustainable goods and services. Furthermore, Mr. Bastaman from Indonesia added that information about sustainable consumption and production is relatively new in developing countries, and that both the Indonesian government and business sectors are striving to provide more information to consumers.

Next, Dr. Jaeckel, Mr. Wardojo, and Mr. MacMullan gave presentations on the role of transparency and accountability for consumer information in achieving sustainable consumption and production. They highlighted that providing consumers with accurate and accountable information is a multi stakeholder task, which includes governments, NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Consumers are mainly interested in a product’s cost, convenience, and if the product meets the consumer’s needs. However, ethical and moral questions of sustainability are becoming part of the equation. In order to raise sustainability on the consumer’s agenda, information about how the product is made must be provided in a clear and simple way, in order toencourage sustainable patterns of consumption.


Meeting Title: Consumer Information Programme Under the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Vladimi Drobnjak, Vice President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Permanent Representative of Crotia; H.E. Mr. Heiko Thoms, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany; Mr. Henry Bastaman, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia; Dr. Ulf D. Jaeckel, Head of Sustainable Consumer Production, Product-related Environmental Protection, Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Mr. Noer Adi Wardojo, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia; Mr. Justin MacMullan, Head of Advocacy, Consumer International
Date: 1 July 2014
Location: ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan