United Nations

A/50/551


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

13 October 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 95 (i)


          SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION:
          INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY IN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Draft programme for the observance of the International Year
for the Eradication of Poverty (1996)

Report of the Secretary-General


I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   At  its forty-eighth session,  the General Assembly,  by its resolution
48/183  of 21  December 1993,  proclaimed  1996  International Year  for the
Eradication  of Poverty.  At  its forty-ninth session,  the Assembly, in its
resolution  49/110 of  19 December  1994, took  note of  the report  of  the
Secretary-General on  the International Year  for the Eradication of Poverty
(A/49/572) and  requested the  Secretary-General, in  consultation with  all
States, concerned specialized agencies, programmes and  organs of the United
Nations   system,  relevant  international  organizations,  non-governmental
organizations  and  interested groups,  to  achieve  at  an  early date  the
elaboration of  the  draft  programme concerning  the preparations  for  and
observance of  the Year, containing  the objectives,  principles, themes and
main  recommendations for  the Year,  which  should  be consistent  with the
challenge of  poverty and the Copenhagen  Declaration on Social  Development
and Programme of Action of the World Summit  for Social Development, 1/  and
to submit a final  report thereon to  the Assembly for consideration at  its
fiftieth session, with  the aim of ensuring that  the Year makes a  distinct
and significant contribution to the efforts to eradicate poverty.

2.  In response  to resolution 49/110 and to facilitate an initial  exchange
of views  at the  substantive session  of 1995  of the  Economic and  Social
Council  on  a possible  programme  to  observe  the  Year, the  Secretariat
prepared a note  containing elements of a draft  programme for the Year.  2/
The draft programme took into account,  and followed closely, the Copenhagen
Declaration and


95-31117 (E)   301095/...
*9531117*
Programme of  Action of the  World Summit for  Social Development.   It also

reflected  the resolutions and decisions adopted at the thirty-ninth session
of the Commission on  the Status of Women, the thirty-fourth session of  the
Commission for Social Development, and the  third session of the  Commission
on Sustainable Development as well as  the results of informal consultations
within  the  United  Nations  system  and  with  concerned  non-governmental
organizations.

3.    The present  report  elaborates  on  the  proposals  contained in  the
abovementioned note,  taking into account  the observations and  suggestions
made subsequently in response to the  note verbale of the  Secretary-General
of June  1995 addressed to Member  States, as well as additional information
provided by entities of the  United Nations system,  other intergovernmental
organizations and non-governmental organizations.


II.  OVERALL ORIENTATION

4.   Subsequent to the  adoption of General  Assembly resolutions 48/183 and
49/110,  the heads of  State and  Government at the World  Summit for Social
Development  launched a  global  drive for  social progress  and development
embodied in 10 commitments. 3/   Commitment 2 reads in part as follows:  "We
commit ourselves  to the goal  of eradicating poverty in  the world, through
decisive  national actions  and international  cooperation, as  an  ethical,
social, political  and economic imperative of  humankind". 4/   To this end,
heads of  State and Government  undertook to formulate  or strengthen,  as a
matter of urgency, and  preferably by the year 1996, the International  Year
for the Eradication of Poverty, national  policies and strategies geared  to
substantially  reducing  overall poverty  in  the  shortest  possible  time,
reducing inequalities and eradicating absolute poverty  by a target date  to
be specified by each country in its national context. 5/

5.  In chapter II of  the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social
Development,  a  strategy  for  the  eradication  of  poverty  is  outlined,
containing suggestions for priority  action at the national level as well as
supporting activities at the international level.   The Programme of  Action
calls  on Governments  to  increase  public efforts  to  eradicate  absolute
poverty  and  to  reduce  overall  poverty  substantially,  inter  alia,  by
formulating or strengthening, preferably by 1996, and implementing  national
poverty  eradication  plans to  address  the  structural causes  of poverty,
encompassing  action  on the  local,  national,  subregional,  regional  and
international levels.   These plans should  establish, within each  national
context,  strategies  and  affordable timebound  goals and  targets  for the
substantial reduction  of overall  poverty and  the eradication  of absolute
poverty.   In the context of  national plans, particular attention should be
given  to employment  creation as  a  means  of eradicating  poverty, giving
appropriate  consideration  to health  and  education,  assigning  a  higher
priority  to  basic   social  services,  generating  household  income   and
promoting  access  to  productive  assets  and  economic  opportunities.  6/
Public  efforts   to  eradicate  poverty   should  also   be  increased   by
elaborating,  at  the   national  level,  the  measurements,  criteria   and
indicators for  determining the extent and distribution of absolute poverty.
Each country should develop a precise  definition and assessment of absolute
poverty, preferably by 1996.

 6.  In  chapter V of the Programme  of Action on implementation and follow-
up, among  the requirements  specified for  the promotion  of an  integrated
approach to  the implementation of the  Programme of Action  at the national
level,  in  accordance  with  national  specificities,  is  formulating   or
strengthening,  by   1996,  comprehensive   cross-sectoral  strategies   for
implementing  the  Summit   outcome  and  national  strategies  for   social
development, including government  action, actions by States in  cooperation
with   other   Governments,   international,   regional   and    subregional
organizations, and actions taken in partnership and cooperation with  actors
of  civil  society,  the  private sector  and  cooperatives,  with  specific
responsibilities to be undertaken by each  actor and with agreed  priorities
and time-frames. 7/

7.   The Programme of Action  also calls on  the General Assembly to review,
in 1996, the  effectiveness of the steps taken  to implement the outcome  of
the Summit  with regard to  poverty eradication, as  part of  the activities
relating  to  the  International  Year  for  the   Eradication  of  Poverty.
Furthermore,  it also calls on  the General Assembly at its fiftieth session
to declare the  first United Nations decade  for the eradication of poverty,
following the  International Year  for  the Eradication  of Poverty  (1996),
with  a view to  its considering further  initiatives on  the eradication of
poverty. 8/

8.    The  concept of  poverty developed  in  the Copenhagen  Declaration on
Social Development and Programme  of Action of  the World Summit for  Social
Development is  broad.   Poverty is  not  just inadequate  income, but  also
includes  lack of access to education, health care  and other amenities, and
exclusion from participation in the life of the community.

9.   The  Copenhagen Declaration  on  Social  Development and  Programme  of
Action  of the  World Summit  for Social  Development emphasize  the need to
focus efforts and policies  on the root causes  of poverty and the necessity
to provide for  the basic needs of  all.  These  include the  elimination of
hunger  and  malnutrition;  the  provision  of  food  security,   education,
employment   and  livelihood,   primary   health-care   services,  including
reproductive health care,  safe drinking water and sanitation, and  adequate
shelter; and  participation in social and  cultural life.   Special priority
should be  given to the needs  and rights of  women and  children, who often
bear the  greatest burden  of poverty, and  to the needs  of vulnerable  and
disadvantaged  groups and persons.   The  Programme of  Action also stresses
that people  living in poverty should  have access  to productive resources,
including credit,  land, education and  training, technology, knowledge  and
information,  as  well  as  to  public  services,  and  should  be  able  to
participate in the elaboration of policies and the creation  of a regulatory
environment that  would expand  employment and economic  opportunities.   In
addition, all  people must  be provided  with adequate  economic and  social
protection  during  unemployment,  ill   health,  maternity,  child-bearing,
widowhood, disability and old age. 9/

10.  The texts  adopted at Copenhagen link the reduction of poverty with the
reduction  of  inequalities.    Opportunities for  access  to  resources and
income  should  be  enhanced,  and  political,  legal,  economic  and social
factors  and constraints  that  foster  and  sustain  inequality  should  be
removed.  Furthermore, national budgets and  policies should be oriented, as
necessary, towards meeting basic needs, reducing inequalities and  targeting
poverty, as a strategic objective.


           III.  OBJECTIVES, PRINCIPLES AND THEME FOR THE INTERNATIONAL
                 YEAR FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY

11.   The  overarching objective  of the Year  may appropriately  be derived
from the decisions of the General Assembly that lead up to the  proclamation
of  1996 as  the International  Year for  the  Eradication  of Poverty.   In
particular, the Assembly in its resolution  49/110 reaffirms that the  major
activities  for the  observance  of the  Year should  be  undertaken  at all
levels and that assistance  should be provided by the United Nations  system
with a  view  to creating  among  States,  policy makers  and  international
public opinion  a greater  awareness  of the  fact that  the eradication  of
poverty is both a complex and  a multidimensional problem and fundamental to
reinforcing peace and achieving sustainable development.

12.   The significance of  the activities to  be undertaken  during the Year
should  be judged largely  on the  extent to which they  succeed in focusing
attention, at all levels and  among all sections in society, on the need  to
take  seriously  the  substantive  objective  of  eradicating  poverty   and
instilling in the public consciousness that this is a  reachable goal within
a  reasonable time  span.  Thus  the aim of  the activities during  the Year
should  be  to  build the  support structure  for  a longer  term, sustained

effort  to  implement the  commitments undertaken  and  the basic  programme
already  agreed  upon at  the  World  Summit  for Social  Development.   The
Declaration and  Programme of Action  agreed upon  at Copenhagen established
the necessary policies  and actions to eradicate  poverty, and the focus  of
the Year should thus be to ensure its timely implementation.

13.   To  this end,  activities at  all levels,  national and international,
public and private, might be guided by the following principles:

  (a)     The  eradication  of  poverty  requires  a  sustained,  collective
commitment  and effort  by  national and  local governments,  civil society,
business  and  corporations,  supported  by   the  international  community,
including in particular, regional and international organizations;

  (b)  The  eradication of poverty requires  measures to ensure that  people
living in poverty have access to  the resources and opportunities  necessary
to escape from  poverty, as well as measures  to ensure that  all members of
society  are  protected  from  poverty  as  a  result  of illness,  loss  of
employment, natural disaster or other misfortune;

  (c)   The eradication of  poverty requires that  all have  access to basic
social services  and can participate in  the economic,  social, cultural and
political life of society;

  (d)  The eradication  of poverty requires that women be given the economic
and social opportunities to contribute to  development and that anti-poverty
strategies and programmes be designed with a specific gender dimension;

   (e)   The eradication  of poverty  requires the  development of  targeted
programmes to  meet the needs of  particular social  and demographic groups,
including  young people, older persons, persons with  disabilities and other
groups or persons with special needs;

  (f)  The eradication of poverty  requires that anti-poverty strategies and
programmes   be  designed,   implemented  and   monitored  with   the   full
participation of people living in poverty;

  (g)   The eradication  of poverty  requires increased  and more  effective
support  by  the international  community  for  broad-based  development  in
developing  countries,  in  particular in  Africa  and  the  least developed
countries.

14.  In the light of General Assembly  resolutions 48/183 and 49/110 and  of
the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development  and Programme of Action of
the World Summit for  Social Development, the Assembly  may wish to  adopt a
theme for  the Year.    The theme  might  be  "Poverty can  be and  must  be
eradicated throughout  the world".  The  implementation of  this theme would
require  a  sustained, long-term  commitment  by  Governments and  all other
actors in society, as well as the support of the international community.


            IV.  ACTIVITIES IN OBSERVANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR FOR
                 THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY

15.   In the light  of the above-mentioned decisions  and recommendations of
the World Summit for  Social Development, as well  as the recommendations of
the  Fourth  World Conference  for  Women,  the International  Conference on
Population and Development and the World  Summit for Children, the following
major activities are proposed for the  observance of the International  Year
for the Eradication of Poverty:

  (a)    Every  country  should,  with  the  support  of  the  international
community,  formulate  or  strengthen  a  long-term  national  strategy  for
eradicating poverty;

  (b)    National  and  international  organizations,  including educational

institutions,  the  media and  other institutions  of civil  society, should
promote  awareness of  the extent  and  nature  of poverty,  its destructive
consequences both for the people concerned and for  society as a whole,  and
effective measures for reducing and eradicating poverty;

  (c)   Countries and  international organizations  should increase  support
for  research   and  dissemination   of  information   on  the   extent  and
distribution  of poverty, on  its causes  and consequences  and on effective
measures for reducing and eradicating poverty;

  (d)    Countries  and  international  organizations  should  organize  and
participate in  meetings to exchange  information on  their achievements and
problems in reducing and eradicating poverty;

  (e)     Countries   should   encourage  the   development   of   community
organizations,  particularly  in  communities  with  a  high  incidence   of
poverty, and encourage  and support participation  of such  organizations in
efforts to eradicate poverty and in the activities of the Year.

16.  Furthermore, in accordance with the recommendation of  the World Summit
for  Social  Development,  the  General  Assembly  could,  at  its  fiftieth
session, declare  the first  United Nations  decade for  the eradication  of
poverty, following  the International Year for  the Eradication of  Poverty,
with a view  to its considering  further initiatives  on the eradication  of
poverty; the  United Nations, other  international organizations and  Member
States should then develop plans and programmes for the decade.

17.  Based  on the experience of years and decades and  other similar events
organized  under  the auspices  of  the  United  Nations  system, which  are
intended  principally  to create  awareness  and  promote  understanding  of
critical issues  and mobilize resources and  action at  all levels, examples
of possible activities  are listed in the  following paragraphs.  These  are
followed by a summary of special activities for  the observance of the  Year
planned by the United  Nations system in support of national and local-level
activities.


             A.  Activities that may be undertaken at the national and
                 local levels

18.   A coordinated  approach by  Governments, at  national and sub-national
levels, as  well  as the  widest  possible  participation of  the  different
private groups  and actors in  society, would best  help to ensure  progress
towards  eradicating  poverty.    Such  a   coordinated  approach  could  be
facilitated by the  establishment of national coordinating mechanisms,  with
both   governmental  and   non-governmental  representation.     Where  such
coordinating mechanisms were  already set up to assist national preparations
for the World Summit for Social Development, they  might form the nucleus of
organizational  arrangements   for   preparing   and   monitoring   national
strategies to follow up the commitments  and recommendations relating to the
Summit objective  of eradicating  poverty.  Coordinating bodies,  or similar
mechanisms  at   the  national   level,  could   also  be   responsible  for
disseminating  information  about  the objectives,  guiding  principles  and
theme of  the Year,  particularly at  the local  level; encouraging  actions
within the  community in observance of  the Year; and, especially in respect
of  possible local-level  initiatives, elaborating  long-term strategies  in
the context of a United Nations decade for the eradication of poverty.

19.    The  dissemination  of  information  is  critical  to  any  publicity
campaign.  Thus, in  order  to create  a  wide  forum  for the  exchange  of
experiences and  discussion  of  problems  and solutions,  and  to  mobilize
public  awareness,   enhance   participation,  and   stimulate  action   and
cooperation to promote the objectives of  the Year, the responsible national
authorities should seek:

  (a)   The active  involvement of  the media  and other  sources of  public

information and opinion from the earliest stage onwards;

  (b)  The organization of a  regular, up-to-date information provision  and
exchange system;

   (c)   The creation, production, distribution  and use  of printed, visual
and audio information  materials (databases, guides for action,  inventories
of  action,  progress reports,  booklets,  recurrent  bulletins/newsletters,
circular  letters,  press releases,  press  kits,  posters,  coins,  stamps,
souvenirs, television and radio programmes, video and audio cassettes);

  (d)  The involvement of prominent citizens in  different walks of life  in
promoting the Year's objectives, theme and activities.

20.  Activities need to encourage outreach to  and the involvement of people
living in poverty and  their organizations in the  setting of targets and in
the  design,   implementation,  monitoring   and   assessment  of   national
strategies  and  programmes  for  poverty  eradication  and  community-based
development,  ensuring  that  such  programmes   reflect  their  priorities.
Examples of specific activities to this end are:

  (a)  Encouragement and  support for local  community development  projects
that foster  the skill, self-reliance and  self-confidence of people  living
in poverty  and that  facilitate their  active participation  in efforts  to
eradicate poverty;

  (b)  Support for the creation  and development of community  organizations
and  non-profit  non-governmental  organizations,   particularly  among  the
disadvantaged and vulnerable  people in  the spheres of poverty,  education,
health,  social integration,  human rights,  improvement  of the  quality of
life  and  relief  and rehabilitation,  thus  enabling  them  to participate
constructively in policy-making and implementation;

  (c)   Effective participation  of such  organizations as  part of national
coordinating mechanisms  for observance of the  Year, and  provision to them
of comprehensive information and other facilitative support;

  (d)    Provision  of  resources  through  such  measures  as  small  grant
programmes and  technical and other  administrative support for  initiatives
taken and managed at the community level;

  (e)     Identification  of  existing   national  and  international   non-
governmental  organizations most  concerned with  the objectives, principles
and  themes  of  the  Year  and  establishment  of  close  collaboration and
partnership with them.

21.  The  development of national policies to  ensure that people living  in
poverty  have access  to basic  social  services, to  economic opportunities
that  promote  sustainable  livelihood  and  to  social  protection   during
unemployment,  ill  health,  maternity,  disability  and  old  age  may   be
facilitated by the following measures:

  (a)   Review  and appraisal  of  existing  legal systems,  programmes  and
services and their impact on the poor;

  (b)    Removal of  any  political,  legal,  economic  and social  factors,
constraints and  structural barriers that  foster and  sustain inequality in
society and prevent people from escaping poverty;
    (c)  Promotion of effective enjoyment by all people of civil,  cultural,
economic,  political  and  social  rights,  and access  to  existing  social
protection  and  public services,  in  particular  through  encouraging  the
ratification and ensuring the full implementation  of relevant human  rights
instruments;

  (d)      Establishment   of   legislative   and   regulatory   frameworks,
institutional  arrangements   and  consultative   mechanisms  for  involving

community  organizations and  non-profit  non-governmental  organizations in
the design, implementation  and evaluation of social development  strategies
and programmes.

22.   Research  on the  effectiveness  of  different approaches  to  poverty
eradication, and  the dissemination of research  results, is  critical.  The
Year could help to stimulate action by encouraging:

  (a)    The  active  involvement  of  academic,  research  and  educational
institutions  in observation  of the  Year,  including in  the work  of  the
national coordinating mechanisms;

  (b)  The development,  updating and dissemination  of specific  indicators
of poverty and vulnerability, including income, wealth, nutrition,  physical
and  mental health,  education,  literacy, family  conditions, unemployment,
social  exclusion  and  isolation,  homelessness,  landlessness  and   other
factors, as  well as  indicators of  the national  and international  causes
underlying poverty;  for this  purpose, the gathering  of comprehensive  and
comparable  data,  disaggregated by  ethnicity,  gender,  disability, family
status, language groupings, regions and economic and social sectors;

  (c)   Systematic monitoring and assessment of the achievement of goals and
targets  agreed   to  in  international  forums   in  the   area  of  social
development;  evaluating,   quantitatively  and  qualitatively,  changes  in
poverty levels,  the persistence  of poverty  and vulnerability  to poverty,
particularly concerning household income levels and  access to resources and
services;   and   assessing   the  effectiveness   of   poverty  eradication
strategies, based on the priorities and  perceptions of households living in
poverty and low-income communities;

  (d)   Identification of the  livelihood systems,  survival strategies  and
self-help organizations  of people living in  poverty and  working with such
organizations to  develop  programmes for  combating poverty  that build  on
their efforts, ensuring the full participation  of the people concerned  and
responding to their actual needs;

  (e)   Elaboration, at  the national  level, of  the measurements, criteria
and indicators  for  determining  the extent  and distribution  of  absolute
poverty, its precise definition and assessment;

  (f)    Mobilization   of  the  resources  of  universities  and   research
institutions  to improve  the understanding  of  the  causes of  poverty and
their solutions, as well as the impact of structural adjustment measures  on
people living in  poverty and the  effectiveness of  anti-poverty strategies
and programmes,  strengthening the capacity for  social science research  in
developing  countries  and  integrating,  as  appropriate,  the  results  of
research into decision-making processes;
    (g)    Organization  of  national  congresses  and  conferences,  expert
seminars  and workshops  to provide  a forum for  the exchange  of opinions,
information and experiences and for submitting proposals for action.

23.    An important  tool for  promoting the  objectives of  the Year  is to
encourage   the  involvement  in  poverty  eradication  activities,  through
targeted  campaigns,  of  different actors  of  society,  such  as  business
enterprises,  trade   unions,  farmers'   organizations  and   cooperatives.
Activities could emphasize the importance of:

  (a)   Developing  planning and  policy-making procedures  that  facilitate
partnership and cooperation between Governments and other actors of  society
in social development;

  (b)   Encouraging  business enterprises  to  pursue  investment and  other
policies,  including  non-commercial activities,  that  will  contribute  to
social  development,  especially  in  relation to  the  generation  of  work
opportunities,  social  support   services  at  the  workplace,  access   to
productive resources and construction of infrastructure.


            B.  Activities for the observance of the International Year
                for the Eradication of Poverty planned by the United
                Nations system

24.  Poverty has been  a major concern, directly or  indirectly, in the work
of the  entities of  the United  Nations system  from the  inception of  the
Organization.   In the  context of  the United  Nations Development Decades,
and, more recently, in the context of the agenda  for development, combating
poverty has  received critical  attention.   Following the  decision by  the
General  Assembly to  convene a  World  Summit  for Social  Development, the
different entities  of the United Nations  system have  focused attention on
how best  to develop comprehensive approaches  that would bring  to bear, in
an integrated  manner, the different skills  and experiences  of the various
agencies to the common  goal of eradicating poverty.  With the  proclamation
of the  International Year for the  Eradication of  Poverty, the programmes,
organs  and specialized agencies  have initiated,  or are  planning, special
events  and activities to promote  the objectives of  the Year.  Information
on  these  activities,  as  provided  by  the  entities  of  the  system and
available  at  this  point  in  time,  is  summarized  below.  Other regular
activities related to the fight against poverty are  listed in the report of
the Secretary-General  on international cooperation  for the eradication  of
poverty in developing countries (A/50/396).

Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development

25.  The Department for Policy  Coordination and Sustainable Development was
designated  by  the  General  Assembly  in  its  resolution  48/183  as  the
preparatory body for the Year.  During the Year itself, the Department  will
be responsible for providing substantive support  for the monitoring, in the
context of  the inter-agency  machinery, of  the activities  to observe  the
Year.  The Department  will support a number of substantive and  information
activities relating  to  its responsibilities  in the  areas of  sustainable
development,  women  and  social  groups,  social  integration  and   social
welfare, including the preparation of a  special issue of the  International
Social Development Review devoted to poverty and a newsletter.

26.  Close contacts will be  maintained with the non-governmental  community
participating in events to  observe the Year.   The World Summit  for Social
Development emphasized the essential role played  by actors of civil society
in   the  struggle  against   poverty  and   called  in   particular  for  a
strengthening of  "actions taken in  partnership and cooperation with actors
of civil society, the  private sector and  cooperatives". 10/  In the  light
of General  Assembly resolutions 48/183  and 49/110 and of  the decisions of
the World  Summit for  Social Development,  the Under-Secretary-General  for
Policy  Coordination  and Sustainable  Development  addressed  a  letter  to
international  non-governmental  organizations   that  took   part  in   the
preparatory process for  the World Summit for  Social Development.  The  aim
of   this  letter  was   to  emphasize   the  significance   of  the  active
participation  of all  actors  of society,  in  particular  non-governmental
organizations,  in the struggle  against poverty;  to inform  them about the
main activities  the United  Nations intended  to undertake  to observe  the
International Year for  the Eradication of Poverty in  1996; and to ask  for
their cooperation in that respect.

Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis

27.  Many of  the population activities  of the Department for Economic  and
Social  Information and Policy  Analysis have  a direct  bearing on poverty.
The  analytical  studies  of  the  Population  Division  of  the  social and
economic  causes and  consequences of  fertility, mortality  and  migration,
relate to poverty issues.  The Division's work programme in this field  also
includes a review of conceptual approaches  to poverty and its  measurement,
and the  interplay between demographic characteristics  of the  poor and the
equivalence  measures that underpin  many of  the poverty  indicators.  Some
other  relevant  activities  might be  added to  the  work programme  of the

Department in the course of the year.

Department for Development Support and Management Services

28.   The Department for Development Support and Management Services will do
its utmost to cooperate  with the family of  the United Nations  agencies to
attain  the objectives  of the  International  Year  for the  Eradication of
Poverty.  It supports  the idea that inter-agency teams should be placed  at
the disposal  of developing  countries that wish  to formulate  anti-poverty
programmes  and national strategies for the implementation of the Copenhagen
Declaration  on Social  Development and  Programme  of  Action of  the World
Summit for  Social  Development. A  number  of  projects of  the  Department
related  to  the issue  of poverty  will come  to  fruition in  1996.   They
include:    a  study  of  poverty  in  the  Arab  region;  poverty  and  the
environment  in Thailand, Viet  Nam and  Laos; social  mapping of indigenous
communities  in Indonesia; and poverty alleviation in Tanzania.  In order to
assess the policy  relevance of these projects, a workshop will be organized
towards the end of 1996.

 Department of Public Information

29.   The responsibility of the Department of Public Information in relation
to the  International  Year  for  the Eradication  of  Poverty is  to  raise
awareness about the work  of the United Nations in this field.  One possible
activity is a series of regional work media briefings  on the outcome of the
World  Summit  for Social  Development,  emphasizing  the  issue of  poverty
eradication, to be organized in cooperation  with the Government of  Denmark
early next year on the first  anniversary of the Summit.  A number of United
Nations information centres  will utilize the  occasion of the International
Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October,  as well as the Year itself,
to  undertake activities to  promote the  work of the United  Nations on the
eradication  of poverty.   Members of  the Joint  United Nations Information
Committee,  chaired   by  the   Department  of   Public  Information,   will
collaborate  and  coordinate  system-wide   public  information   activities
relating to the Year.   The Department will also produce and disseminate  an
extended  background on  the issues  related  to  poverty eradication  and a
brochure on the aims  and purposes of the Year which will include a calendar
of  United Nations  system-wide  activities being  planned during  the Year.
These  products,  in  English,  French  and  Spanish,  will  be disseminated
through the network of 67 United  Nations information centres and  services,
as  well as  field offices  of the  United Nations  system, to  media,  non-
governmental   organizations,    parliamentarians,   national    ministries,
educational institutions  and other members  of civil society.   A logo  for
the Year has been designed and selected.  In addition, work is under way  on
a signature campaign (typeface, colours, masthead)  for use on all  products
related to the Year.

Economic Commission for Europe

30.    The  Economic  Commission  for  Europe (ECE)  might  include  in  its
programme  of work an appropriate  segment related to  the issue of poverty,
in particular  in the  fields of  economic analysis  and projections,  human
settlements, migration and statistics.  ECE  is also considering  organizing
some special events devoted to the observance of the International Year  for
the   Eradication   of   Poverty   in  cooperation   with   non-governmental
organizations  and  the   business  community.    In  cooperation  with  the
International  Council on Social  Welfare, ECE  will mark  the World Habitat
Day in October 1996 by  an event devoted to urban poverty.  A similar  event
is planned for the  observance of the International Day of Older Persons  on
1 October 1996.

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

31.  The main  activities of the  Economic Commission for Latin America  and
the  Caribbean  (ECLAC) in  connection  with  the  observance  of the  Year,
involve  the preparation  of  statistical  data  and social  indicators  for

analysing  the social  situation and  designing anti-poverty programmes.   A
Panorama Social de America Latina will be published with key topics such  as
employment,  income  distribution,  poverty   and  social  and  geographical
location  (rural and urban), as regards living  conditions and opportunities
for social mobility.   The 1996 edition will expand the number of  countries
covered.  Training will also  be provided to national experts  on the use of
social  indicators to  identify  the  most disadvantaged  social groups  and
determine their characteristics with respect to  age, gender, kind of  work,
education and geographical  location, and to formulate alternative  policies
designed to alleviate poverty  and improve living conditions.  The Unit  for
the  Integration  of  Women  in  Development  will  be  monitoring  progress
achieved in the implementation  of the Regional Programme  of Action for the
Women  of Latin  America and  the Caribbean,  1995-2000,  particularly those
strategic actions  aimed at  substantially improving the  conditions of  the
poor and at improving the quality of life of women, especially  those in the
poorest  groups.  The twenty-sixth session of the Commission will take place
at San Jose, Costa Rica, from 15 to 20 April 1996.

Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific

32.  At its  fifty-first session, the Economic  Commission for Asia  and the
Pacific (ESCAP)  adopted resolution 51/4 of 1 May 1995, entitled "Agenda for
Action on Social Development  in the ESCAP Region",  in which the Commission
requested the Executive  Secretary of ESCAP,  inter alia,  to report to  the
Committee  on  Poverty  Alleviation  through  Economic  Growth  and   Social
Development, at its third session, to be held in 1996, on the  effectiveness
of  the  steps taken  to  implement the  Agenda  for Action,  with  specific
reference  to poverty  alleviation, within the context  of the International
Year  for the  Eradication  of Poverty.   A  report to  that effect  will be
prepared by the  secretariat, and  it is  envisaged that  ESCAP members  and
associate  members,  as  well  as  United  Nations  bodies  and  specialized
agencies,    intergovernmental     and    non-governmental     organizations
participating in  the 1996 session of the Committee, will exchange views and
experiences  and  decide  on  follow-up  activities  on  the  subject.   The
secretariat  will convene  in 1996  a  meeting  of senior  officials on  the
implementation  of the  Agenda for  Action,  with  special reference  to the
theme of poverty  eradication and linkage with  the observance of the  Year.
At  its fifty-first  session the Commission  also decided that  the theme of
the  fifty-second session  would  be "Sustainable  development  and  poverty
alleviation in Asia and the Pacific".   In that connection, a study on rural
poverty  alleviation in  the  context  of sustainable  development  will  be
prepared by the secretariat for consideration by the Commission in 1996.

Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

33.   The  Economic  and  Social  Commission  for  Western Asia  (ESCWA)  is
organizing an  expert  group meeting  on  policies  and measures  to  reduce
income disparities and alleviate poverty  in selected ESCWA countries, which
will be  held in December 1995.   New documents ("Poverty  in the West  Bank
and  Gaza  Strip",  "Poverty  in  Western  Asia:    population  dynamics and
employment issues",  "Measurement of poverty  in the ESCWA region", "Poverty
and housing in  the ESCWA region", "Social  factors of housing  and poverty:
Jordan case-study",  etc.) will be presented  and discussed  at the meeting.
Planned  activities   for  1996-1997   include:     coordination  with   the
International  Labour Organization and  the UNDP national office for Lebanon
for building  on the  work  undertaken in  the country  profile "poverty  in
Lebanon"; convening  of an  ad hoc  expert group  on eradicating  poverty in
Western  Asia:    towards a  plan  of  action;  and  publication  during the
biennium of Eradicating Poverty in Western Asia.

 United Nations Children's Fund

34.   High infant mortality, widespread  child malnutrition, and  persistent
female  illiteracy  are both  manifestations  and  causes  of  poverty.   In
collaboration  with other  agencies  and national  institutions,  the  major
activities of  the United Nations Children's  Fund (UNICEF)  in 1996 consist

of reviewing and assessing social indicators on immunization,  malnutrition,
education, water and sanitation, and micro-nutrients  in the majority of the
countries in  which UNICEF has  programmes.  This  review will  be available
around  mid-1996.    In addition,  measuring  poverty  and  tracking poverty
trends  over  time  are crucial  for  formulating  national  strategies  for
poverty  eradication  and  for identifying  areas  of  policy and  programme
intervention.   To accomplish  this, UNICEF  is collaborating  with UNDP and
the World  Bank  to provide  better  coordinated  support to  the  programme
countries  as   well  as   suggestions  for  the   monitoring  of   poverty.
Furthermore,  in  collaboration  with  interested  Governments  and relevant
United Nations  agencies, in particular UNDP and the World Bank, UNICEF will
contribute to the monitoring  of the 20/20 initiative through its support to
the restructuring studies of government and donor budgets.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

35.  The  United Nations Conference  on Trade and Development  (UNCTAD) will
organize  a seminar on  the effects  of international  economic relations on
poverty and prepare a background paper.   The participants will include both
United  Nations  agency  representatives  and  experts  attending  in  their
individual  capacity.    In order  to  make  the  findings  of  the  seminar
available in  time for the discussions in 1996 during the high-level segment
of the Economic and Social Council  on poverty eradication, UNCTAD  proposes
to hold the seminar at Geneva in March 1996.

United Nations Development Programme

36.     The  United   Nations  Development  Programme  (UNDP)  welcomes  the
opportunity which this Year presents for building on the gains of the  World
Summit for Social Development, providing the  impetus for the formulation of
national  strategies for  poverty eradication  and developing  joint  United
Nations  initiatives  which   would  support  the  implementation  of   such
strategies.  UNDP sees the Year as a  good opportunity for helping  national
partners  to  focus  on  the  goals  of  poverty  eradication  and assisting
Governments to  deliver sound  poverty eradication  strategies  and to  give
high visibility to the process.  UNDP believes  that its network of  country
offices could  be used  to  support the  objectives of  the Year.   In  this
regard,  it sees  a definite role  for them in  facilitating "dialogues with
the poor".

37.   Activities  UNDP is  likely to  support,  with Governments  and United
Nations  partners,  include  development  of  national  policy   eradication
strategies;  working  out   country-specific  definitions  of  poverty;  and
country-level  poverty  measurement/situation analyses.    These  activities
will be carried out by UNDP country offices,  which are expected to  support
Governments  to  make their  poverty  eradication  strategies and  plans  as
comprehensive  and  realistic  as  possible  (i.e.  develop  clear  national
poverty   definitions,   identify   poverty   indicators,  conduct   poverty
assessment studies  where there are  none, set  time-bound targets,  develop
monitoring  systems,  etc.)  and to  integrate  these  fully  into  national
development  plans.    In  relation  to   the  International  Year  for  the
Eradication  of Poverty,  UNDP  has  prepared a  document entitled  "Poverty
eradication:  a policy framework for  country strategies" as a  contribution
to the  policy dialogue on development  alternatives and  priorities for the
coming  years.    UNDP is  also cooperating  with  the Department  of Public
Information  of  the  Secretariat  for  a  poverty  eradication  information
campaign at the  country level and  will build  the theme  into its  regular
information/communication activities.

United Nations Population Fund

38.   The United Nations Population  Fund (UNFPA)  is undertaking activities
addressing the  issue of poverty through  its regular programme  activities.
The  eradication of poverty  is a theme  in the  Programme of  Action of the
International  Conference  on  Population  and  Development,  in  which   an
integrated  approach  to  address  the  issues  of  poverty,  population and

development is promoted.

World Food Programme

39.  The  World Food Programme (WFP) intends  to use the International  Year
for the Eradication  of Poverty to highlight  the developmental needs of the
hungry  poor and to  increase the  effectiveness of  its poverty alleviation
efforts at the country level.   The major part of  the activities of  WFP in
relation to  the Year will  take place at  the country  level in cooperation
with all its partners - Governments, donors, non-governmental  organizations
and beneficiaries.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

40.   The  Office  of the  United  Nations High  Commissioner  for  Refugees
(UNHCR), as  a humanitarian  agency providing  assistance and  protection to
refugees, has important  links with the issue of the eradication of poverty.
As far as its resources allow, UNHCR is  willing to join in with and support
any activities undertaken by the United Nations system.

International Labour Organization

41.   The International  Labour Organization  (ILO) is  producing an updated
version of  the Compendium on Poverty  Estimates (2nd  edition), which would
include  indicators of social  exclusion and  cover developed and developing
countries. ILO would also document success stories and focus on issues  such
as the  bargaining power  of the  poor.   Above  all, the  very strong  link
between  poverty and unemployment and underemployment has been emphasized by
the  World Summit  for  Social  Development.   All  activities  of ILO  have
therefore a direct bearing on the reduction and eradication of poverty.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

42.   The Food  and Agricultural  Organization of  the United Nations  (FAO)
will convene a World Food Summit  in November 1996 at Rome,  with the aim of
renewing the  commitment of the  world leaders at  the highest  level to the
eradication of hunger and malnutrition and  the achievement of food security
for  all, through the adoption  of concerted policies and actions at global,
regional and  national levels.   The  outcome of  the World  Food Summit  is
expected to be a major contribution to the eradication of poverty.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

43.  The  United Nations Educational,  Scientific and  Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) plans  analytical and policy-oriented work  in the  area of poverty
in connection  with the International Year  for the  Eradication of Poverty.
Within the framework  of collaboration between  UNESCO and the International
Social Science Council in its Programme  of Comparative Research on Poverty,
several  publications  are being  prepared  and  a  series  of expert  group
meetings are being  planned to launch some comparative research  programmes.
For publications  in 1996,  the following monographs are  under preparation:
Poverty:  a Worldwide  Review of Research; Images of Poverty; Law, Power and
Poverty; a glossary of poverty; Poverty  and Participation in Civil Society;
and Feminization of Poverty.

44.  The International  Social Science Journal  will dedicate its issue  No.
148 (June 1996) to the theme of poverty.  During 1996-97, workshops will  be
organized on:  poverty and social exclusion in  the Mediterranean, in Crete,
Greece; the  economics of  poverty, at Bergen,  Norway; human  rights as  an
instrument  for poverty alleviation,  at Sao Paulo, Brazil;  the role of the
State  in poverty  alleviation, at  Nairobi; and  law, power and  poverty at
Onati, Spain.

45.   Within the  framework of  the World Decade for  Cultural Development a
workshop is  envisaged on culture and  poverty that  will provide guidelines
for the  subsequent activities  relating culture,  poverty and  development.

UNESCO  will also  be encouraging its regional  social science organizations
to focus on poverty during the Year, and intends to use the occasion of  the
International  Year  for  the  Eradication  of  Poverty  in  favour  of  its
educational  intervention in conflict situations by emphasizing  the role of
income-generating  non-formal education  in  poverty eradication.    In  the
draft  programme and  budget of  UNESCO  for  1996-1997, it  is specifically
foreseen that,  in partnership  with the  United Nations  system and  grass-
roots  non-governmental  organizations,  projects  aiming  at  strengthening
endogenous  capacities will be  set up,  with particular  emphasis on active
and  voluntary  participation   of  excluded  groups  such  as   unemployed,
marginalized  and poverty-stricken  people through empowerment  and training
programmes.   Seminars  will  be  organized  in five  countries  (Nicaragua,
Guatemala,  Colombia, Brazil  and Peru)  to discuss  education  and poverty.
UNESCO  will  also  support Member  States  in  strengthening  their  social
science  infrastructures  for   developing  endogenous  capacities  and  for
setting  up relevant information,  documentation and  data on  the impact of
structural  adjustment policies  on the  poor  and  on the  effectiveness of
anti-poverty strategies.   UNESCO proposes to  organize a clearing-house  on
policies and  experiences which have proved  effective in  the fight against
social  exclusion.   Broad synoptic  regional reports  assessing  successful
measures will be disseminated, in  cooperation with the  media, universities
and  other educational  establishments,  non-governmental  organizations and
representatives of civil society.

46.   There is a special  focus in UNESCO  programmes on  fostering a better
understanding  of  the  nature,  causes  and  consequences  of  poverty  and
contributing  to strategies  for eradicating  extreme poverty.   An  action-
oriented project to fight  poverty in South  Asia is being developed, and  a
meeting  comparing local strategies  against poverty  will be  held in Costa
Rica in the spring of 1996.

International Monetary Fund

47.   The International  Monetary Fund  (IMF) Fiscal  Affairs Department  is
considering the  compilation, in 1996, of  various papers written  in IMF on
the role  of social  safety nets  in poverty  reduction.   IMF, through  its
United  Nations  Office, will  be  represented  at all  future  inter-agency
meetings on the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty.

World Bank

48.  The  World Bank  already has in place  a process for helping  countries
articulate their  poverty reduction  strategies through  the preparation  of
poverty  assessments,  public expenditure  reviews  and  country  assistance
strategies.   The Bank's operations  increasingly involve interactions  with
the poor, principally through participatory poverty assessments, which  mean
talking to the  poor directly, and through participatory project preparation
and implementation. Some  of the new initiatives  the Bank is proposing  for
1996  which  are  currently  under  consideration  include  an   accelerated
programme for children to break the  inter-generational cycle of poverty and
some ideas  in health (vaccine development  and micro-nutrients).   The Bank
is also working  to improve the effectiveness  of the instruments  it relies
on to  help  countries reduce  poverty,  such  as policy  advice,  technical
assistance, project loans and policy loans.

International Fund for Agricultural Development

49.  The International Fund for  Agricultural Development (IFAD) has already
begun preparations  for the  observance of  the Year  both at  institutional
level and through  a number of  public information  activities.   In its  18
years  of  operation,  IFAD  has  designed  and  financed  over  400 poverty
alleviation  projects  in more  than  100  countries  across the  developing
world.  In  relation to the  observance of  the International  Year for  the
Eradication  of Poverty, the  Fund is  going to upgrade a  number of already
planned  activities, such  as project  implementation workshops  to  include
"lessons learned"  and "best  practices". IFAD  is exploring  cost-effective

ways of  enhancing the  level  of exchange  with the  poor by  strengthening
participatory mechanisms  that will allow the  poor to  express their views,
ideas  and  proposals  on how  best  to  strengthen  the  impact  of poverty
projects in  order to  raise their productivity  and incomes.   IFAD,  along
with other  national and  multilateral institutions, is  also sponsoring  in
November  at Brussels,  the  Conference on  Hunger and  Poverty.   The major
objective  of the  Conference is  to  allow  institutions of  civil society,
especially non-governmental organizations,  to join hands  with multilateral
organizations, bilateral donors  and national institutions to combat  hunger
and poverty.   At  Brussels, IFAD hopes  to build  an operational  coalition
that  will allow  successful  programmes against  poverty to  be identified,
expanded and replicated.  Within this  context, IFAD  is also  collaborating
with the World Bank to promote  micro-financing programmes.  Such programmes
will be designed to pioneer new modalities for poverty eradication.

 50.  A  number of activities will be undertaken within IFAD itself over the
Year. The Fund's  Latin America  and the Caribbean  Division is planning  to
start regional "discussions on poverty with  the poor", to promote  analysis
of  poverty  issues from  the  poor's  perspective  and  organize forums  to
discuss  problems and solutions  emerging at  project level.   Some regional
and  subregional IFAD  technical assistance  grants  could  also be  used to
organize regional and subregional events on  poverty issues where the  voice
of  the  poor could  be  heard.  Another  global study  on  issues  such  as
household food  security, rural financing  and desertification control  will
help  in defining strategies  for future  poverty alleviation investments in
the  regions.  IFAD is also preparing to hold a subregional workshop at Cape
Town,  South  Africa  on 30  and  31  January  1996  which  will review  the
experiences of a  large number of IFAD-supported projects.  The workshop, in
which  poor  groups as  well  as  government  officials  and project  staff,
administrators  and   donors  will   be  participants,   will  represent   a
demonstration of solidarity in a country  just liberated from apartheid,  to
work for  a world  free  from  poverty.   The event  could also  include  an
exposition of  traditional  and  improved  farmers'  instruments,  artisanal
products of rural communities  from various parts of the developing world, a
photo  exhibit,  stands  for  publications,  a  video  show  and  a  musical
programme, while the African and international  media would cover the  event
through  national and satellite television networks.  The exposition planned
for Cape Town would effectively be structured as a  "mobile expo".  It could
then travel  throughout the  Year to  destinations such  as Beijing,  Cairo,
Dakar,  London, Mexico City, Nairobi,  New Delhi, New  York, Rio de Janeiro,
Riyadh, Rome, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., where it would arrive in time  for
the  observance  of  the  1996  International  Day  for  the  Eradication of
Poverty.

51.   To  mark the  launching of  the  International  Year, a  special video
"promo" and a video news release  for distribution through Reuters satellite
feeds and other channels  would be produced in December 1995.  In  addition,
a  series  of monthly  30-minute  television  programmes on  various success
stories  in the  fight against rural  poverty in Africa  would be developed.
Moreover, a series  of short documentaries on the socio-economic  conditions
of rural  communities in  developing countries  in Arabic, English,  French,
German, Italian and Spanish for broadcast on  the Euronews network is  being
planned.    Other productions  are  under  negotiation.   An  IFAD-sponsored
workshop on  environmental support to nomads  and sustainable management  of
multi-purpose marginal land resources is scheduled  to take place at Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia,  from 16 to 19  March 1996.   In addition, IFAD  is seeking to
improve public  awareness  both in  donor  and  recipient countries  of  the
importance of solidarity and cooperation to eradicate poverty.

Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions

52.   The  Consultative Committee  on  Programme  and Operational  Questions
(CCPOQ),  of the  Administrative Committee  on  Coordination (ACC),  at  its
seventh session, in New York, took note of the  work accomplished to date on
poverty eradication  and the positive  response given to  the report of  the
CCPOQ Working Group on Poverty on  the work of the United  Nations system on

poverty alleviation. 11/   It decided to  pursue these efforts on the  basis
of a three-day  brainstorming workshop to  be convened  at the ILO  Training
Centre at Turin  at the end  of January 1996 to generate  ideas on practical
issues for  follow-up.   Some of  the issues  proposed for inclusion  in the
agenda  of the workshop are:  criteria for identification of poverty groups;
the geographical  structures for  such action;  identification of the  basic
programmes; an  understanding of the reasons  for successes  and failures of
poverty  programmes; and  strategies for  extending services  and  targeting
benefits to the poor.


C.  Activities by other organizations

53.   The decision to designate 1996 International  Year for the Eradication
of  Poverty was  communicated to  regional and  international  organizations
outside the United Nations system, inviting  them to take appropriate action
in  regard  to  its  observance.    Information  made  available  from these
organizations will  be included  in the newsletter  and other  informational
material to be issued during the course of the Year.


Notes

  1/   Report of the World  Summit for Social  Development, Copenhagen, 6-12
March 1995 (A/CONF.166/9), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.

  2/  E/1995/92.

  3/   Report of the  World Summit for  Social Development, Copenhagen, 6-12
March 1995 (A/CONF.166/9), chap. I, resolution 1, annex I, sect. C.

  4/  Ibid., commitment 2.

  5/  Ibid.

  6/  Ibid., annex II, paras. 26 (b) and (d).

  7/  Ibid., para. 83 (d).

  8/  Ibid., paras. 95 (a) and (c).

  9/  Ibid., annex I, sect. C, commitment 2.

  10/  Ibid., annex II, para. 83 (d).

  11/  ACC/1995/POQ/CRP.19, annex.


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