United Nations

A/RES/50/107


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

20 December 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                   A/RES/50/107
                                                   96th plenary meeting
                                                   20 December 1995
 
 
     50/107. Observance of the International Year for the Eradication
             of Poverty and proclamation of the first United Nations
             Decade for the Eradication of Poverty
 
     The General Assembly,
 
     Reaffirming its resolutions 43/195 of 20 December 1988, 44/212 of 22
December 1989, 45/213 of 21 December 1990, 46/141 of 17 December 1991, 47/197
of 22 December 1992, 48/184 of 21 December 1993 and 49/110 of 19 December
1994, all related to international cooperation for the eradication of poverty
in developing countries,
 
     Recalling its resolution 48/183 of 21 December 1993, in which it
proclaimed 1996 International Year for the Eradication of Poverty,
 
     Recalling also its resolution 49/110, in which it requested that a draft
programme on the preparations for and observance of the Year be elaborated at
an early date,
 
     Emphasizing the necessity for Governments to focus their efforts and
policies on addressing the root causes of poverty and providing for the basic
needs of all,
 
     Recognizing that the eradication of poverty requires ensuring universal
access to economic opportunities that will promote sustainable livelihood and
making basic efforts to facilitate access to opportunities and services for
the disadvantaged, and that people living in poverty and vulnerable groups
must be empowered through organization and social life, in particular in the
planning and implementation of policies that affect them, thus enabling them
to become genuine partners in development,
 
     Also recognizing that economic development, social development and
environmental protection are interdependent and mutually reinforcing
components of sustainable development, which is the framework for efforts to
achieve a higher quality of life for all people, and that equitable social
development, which empowers people living in poverty to utilize environmental
resources sustainably, is a necessary foundation for sustainable development,
 
     Stressing the necessity to promote and implement policies to create a
supportive external economic environment, through, inter alia, cooperation in
the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic policies, trade
liberalization, mobilization and/or the provision of new and additional
financial resources that are both adequate and predictable and mobilized in a
way that maximizes the availability of such resources for sustainable
development, using all available funding sources and mechanisms, enhanced
financial stability and ensuring increased access of developing countries to
global markets, productive investments and technologies, and appropriate
knowledge,
 
     Also stressing that the United Nations system should play a central role
in enhancing support and assistance for developing countries, in particular
African countries and least developed countries, in their efforts to achieve
the objectives set forth in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development
and in the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, as
well as in the major United Nations conferences organized since 1990 towards
the eradication of poverty,
 
     Emphasizing that empowering women will be a critical factor in the
eradication of poverty, since women constitute a majority of people living in
poverty and since they contribute to the economy and to combating poverty
through both their remunerated and their unremunerated work at home, in the
community and in the workplace,
 
     Considering that the international community at the highest political
level has already reached a consensus and committed itself to the eradication
of poverty in recent major United Nations conferences, including the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the International
Conference on Population and Development, the Fourth World Conference on Women
and in particular the World Summit for Social Development, which addressed the
eradication of poverty as one of its three major themes, as well as the
expected contributions from the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Human
Settlements (Habitat II), the ninth session of the United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development and the World Food Summit,
 
     Noting the importance attached at the summit meeting of seven major
industrialized countries, held at Halifax, Canada, from 15 to 17 June 1995, in
considering measures towards the eradication of poverty,
 
     Bearing in mind that Governments decided to adopt the appropriate
measures and mechanisms for implementing and monitoring the outcome of the
World Summit for Social Development, with the assistance, upon request, of the
specialized agencies, programmes, funds and regional commissions of the United
Nations system, with broad participation of all sectors of civil society,
 
     Recalling the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the
World Summit for Social Development, in particular paragraph 95 (c) of the
Programme of Action, in which it is recommended that the General Assembly, at
its fiftieth session, 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 considering further initiatives on the
eradication of poverty,
 
     Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the draft
programme for the observance of the International Year for the Eradication of
Poverty and on international cooperation for the eradication of poverty in
developing countries,
 
     Taking note of the Secretary-General's proposal in response to resolution
49/110, that the theme of the International Year for the Eradication of
Poverty be "Poverty can be and must be eradicated throughout the world",
 
 
                 I.  OBSERVANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR FOR THE
                     ERADICATION OF POVERTY (1996)
 
     1.   Urges all Governments, the international community, including the
United Nations system, and all other actors in society to pursue seriously the
objective of the eradication of poverty within the context of the
International Year for the Eradication of Poverty (1996);
 
     2.   Reaffirms that the activities for the observance of the Year shall
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 multidimensional problem, and is
fundamental to reinforcing peace and achieving sustainable development;
 
     3.   Decides that the aim of the activities during the Year shall be to
support a longer-term, sustained effort to implement fully and effectively the
commitments, recommendations and measures undertaken, and the basic provisions
already agreed upon at major United Nations conferences since 1990, in
particular the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World
Conference on Women;
 
     4.   Also decides that, in order to achieve the goal of eradicating
poverty, activities during the Year, at all levels, shall be guided, inter
alia, by the following principles:
 
     (a)  A sustained, collective commitment and effort shall be mounted by
Governments, local administrations, all relevant actors of civil society,
including non-governmental organizations, business and corporations, supported
by the international community, including the United Nations system and
relevant subregional, regional and other international organizations, and
anti-poverty strategies and programmes shall be designed, implemented and
monitored with the full and effective participation of people living in
poverty; 
 
     (b)  Measures shall be adopted to ensure that people living in poverty
have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to escape from
poverty, and policies shall be adopted to ensure that all people have adequate
economic and social protection during unemployment, ill health, maternity,
child-rearing, widowhood, disability and old age;
 
     (c)  Access of all people living in poverty to basic social services
shall be ensured, as well as their participation in the economic, social,
cultural and political life of society;
 
     (d)  Women shall be given the economic and social opportunities to
contribute to development, and anti-poverty strategies and programmes shall be
designed with a gender dimension;
 
     (e)  Targeted programmes shall be developed to meet the special needs of
particular social and demographic groups, including young people,
disadvantaged older persons, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable
and disadvantaged groups of persons;
 
     (f)  The international community shall provide continued and effective
support to broad-based development in developing countries, in particular in
Africa and the least developed countries;
 
     (g)  The efforts of the United Nations system to achieve the overall goal
of eradicating poverty should be well coordinated in order to ensure that
activities of relevant organizations are complementary and cost-effective;
 
     5.   Recommends that all States, as set out in the Copenhagen Declaration
on Social Development and in the Programme of Action of the World Summit for
Social Development, undertake the following, preferably by 1996:
 
     (a)  Develop a precise definition and assessment of absolute poverty;
 
     (b)  Elaborate the measurements, criteria and indicators for determining
the extent and distribution of absolute poverty;
 
     (c)  Formulate or strengthen, as a matter of urgency, 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;
 
     (d)  Increase public efforts to eradicate absolute poverty and to reduce
overall poverty substantially by, inter alia, formulating or strengthening and
implementing national poverty eradication plans to address the structural
causes of poverty, encompassing action on the local, national, subregional,
regional and international levels;
 
     (e)  Attach particular attention, in the context of national plans, to
employment creation as a means of eradicating poverty, while also 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.   Urges Governments to review, adopt and maintain macroeconomic
policies and development strategies that address the needs and efforts of
women living in poverty, in particular in rural areas, as set out in paragraph
58 of the Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women;
 
     7.   Reaffirms the agreement to a mutual commitment between interested
developed and developing country partners to allocate, on average, 20 per cent
of official development assistance and 20 per cent of the national budget,
respectively, to basic social programmes;
 
     8.   Stresses that, during the Year and beyond, people living in poverty
and their organizations should be empowered by being fully involved in the
setting of targets and in the design, implementation, monitoring and
assessment of national strategies and programmes for the eradication of
poverty and the development of community bases, ensuring that such programmes
reflect their priorities;
 
     9.   Notes the activities for the observance of the Year planned by the
organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, as contained in the
report of the Secretary-General, and invites them to take further initiatives;
 
     10.  Urges multilateral financial and development institutions to
intensify and accelerate their investments in social sectors and poverty
eradication programmes;
 
     11.  Takes note of decision 95/22 of 16 June 1995 of the Executive Board
of the United Nations Development Programme and of the United Nations
Population Fund, in which the Board decided to give poverty elimination the
overriding priority in Programme activities and to concentrate its programmes
on the most needy regions and countries, in particular the least developed
countries, especially in Africa;
 
     12.  Invites all relevant specialized agencies, funds, programmes and
related organizations of the United Nations system to strengthen and adjust
their activities, programmes and strategies, as appropriate, in order to
achieve the overall goal of eradicating poverty and meeting the basic human
needs of all;
 
     13.  Welcomes the recent decision taken by the Administrative Committee
on Coordination to establish task forces on different aspects of the follow-up
to United Nations major conferences with a view to considering issues related
to the eradication of poverty;
 
     14.  Takes note of the decision taken by the Administrator of the United
Nations Development Programme to establish an eradication of poverty fund for
the duration of the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty in order
to help developing countries, in particular African countries and the least
developed countries, in the elaboration of national plans during 1996 to
combat poverty;
 
     15.  Requests the Secretary-General to take all relevant measures to
arrange for the wide and effective dissemination of the present resolution and
the programme for the observance of the Year, and in this regard invites all
States, organizations of the United Nations system, relevant international
organizations, concerned national organizations, non-governmental
organizations and other interested groups of civil society to give the
necessary attention to the observance of the Year;
 
 
      II.  FIRST UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR THE ERADICATION
           OF POVERTY (1997-2006)
 
     16.  Proclaims the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of
Poverty (1997-2006);
 
     17.  Urges all Governments and the international community, including the
United Nations system, and all other actors in society to pursue effectively
the implementation of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences related
to the eradication of poverty, in particular the World Summit for Social
Development;
 
     18.  Welcomes the arrangements, within the agreed appropriation level for
the biennium 1996-1997, made by the Secretary-General regarding the entity
within the Secretariat required to undertake the functions needed in support
of the system-wide implementation of the International Year for the
Eradication of Poverty, including activities of the Decade;
 
     19.  Requests the Secretary-General to invite those organs,
organizations, programmes, funds and bodies of the United Nations system that
have not already done so to consider the establishment of focal points and
other similar mechanisms so that they may effectively implement the
provisions, agreements and outcomes of major United Nations conferences
relevant to the eradication of poverty;
 
     20.  Recalls the coordinating role of the Economic and Social Council in
the activities of the United Nations system towards eradication of poverty in
the context of the coordinated follow-up of the outcome of the major United
Nations conferences and summits organized since 1990 in the economic, social
and related fields;
 
     21.  Stresses the importance of ensuring, at the intergovernmental and
inter-agency levels, coherent, comprehensive and integrated activities for the
Year and Decade, according to the outcome of the major United Nations
conferences and summits organized since 1990 in the economic, social and
related fields;
 
     22.  Invites the Administrative Committee on Coordination to ensure, in
particular through the inter-agency task forces, the involvement and
coordination of all relevant organs, organizations and bodies of the United
Nations system for a full and effective implementation of the present
resolution and to submit to the General Assembly, at its fifty-first session,
through the Economic and Social Council, reports on activities envisaged in
support of the Decade, taking into account the outcome of the major United
Nations conferences and summits organized since 1990 in the economic, social
and related fields;
 
     23.  Calls upon States, the United Nations system, relevant international
organizations and all other actors concerned with the Decade to participate
actively in the financial and technical support of the Decade, in particular
with a view to translating all measures and recommendations into operational
and concrete poverty eradication programmes and activities;
 
     24.  Decides that the trust fund of the World Summit for Social
Development established in accordance with General Assembly resolution 47/92
of 16 December 1992 to finance preparatory activities be continued and renamed
the Trust Fund for the Follow- up to the World Summit for Social Development,
under the authority of the Secretary-General, with the aim of supporting
programmes, seminars and activities for the promotion of social development in
the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action
of the World Summit for Social Development, which include activities of the
first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, and invites all
States to contribute to the Fund;
 
     25.  Requests, therefore, that the Secretary-General ensure that the
outcomes of major United Nations conferences are disseminated as widely as
possible and also to ensure that the documents related to the Year and the
Decade, once adopted, are transmitted to all States, relevant international
and regional organizations, multilateral financial institutions and regional
development banks in order to secure their active and substantial
contributions;
 
     26.  Recommends that donor countries give greater priority to the
eradication of poverty in their assistance programmes and budgets, on either a
bilateral or multilateral basis;
 
     27.  Encourages developing countries to mobilize domestic and external
resources for poverty eradication programmes and activities, and to facilitate
their full and effective implementation;
 
     28.  Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at
its fifty-first session, in one document, a progress report on action taken by
the United Nations system to implement the programme for the observance of the
Year and action envisaged to be taken in preparation for the Decade;
 
     29.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-first
session an item entitled "First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of
Poverty (1997-2006)".