United Nations

A/RES/50/107


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL 


26 January 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 95 (i)
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

[on the report of the Second Committee (A/50/617/Add.9)]

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,     See A/CONF.166/9, chap. I,  resolution 1, annexes I and II.
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,   See A/50/254-
S/1995/501.

  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   A/50/551. and on international cooperation for the eradication
of poverty in developing countries,   A/50/396.

  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  1/  and the
Fourth World Conference on  Women;   See  A/CONF.177/20 and Add.1,  chap. I,
resolution  1, annex  I (Beijing  Declaration)  and  annex II  (Platform for
Action).

  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; 5/

  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,  3/  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,     See E/1995/L.22. The final text of the decision will be
contained in  Official Records  of the  Economic and  Social Council,  1995,
Supplement No.  14 (E/1995/34/Rev.1).  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;   See ACC/1995/23.

   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)".

96th plenary meeting
20 December 1995


This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org