United Nations

A/RES/51/178


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

11 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 96 (f)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

           [on the report of the Second Committee (A/51/604/Add.6)]


            51/178.     First United Nations Decade for the
                        Eradication of Poverty

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 48/183 of 21 December 1993, 49/110 of
19 December 1994 and 50/107 of 20 December 1995 related to the
observance of the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty, and all other relevant resolutions relating to
international cooperation for the eradication of poverty in developing
countries,

      Recognizing that the international community, at the highest
political level, has already reached a consensus on and committed
itself to the eradication of poverty through declarations and
programmes of action of the major United Nations conferences and
summits organized since 1990, particularly the World Summit for Social
Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women,

      Expressing serious concern that more than 1.3 billion people in
the world, a majority of whom are women, live in absolute poverty,
especially in developing countries, and that the number of such people
continues to increase,

      Welcoming the formulation of direct programmes of poverty
eradication by some developing countries at the national level,

      Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the
observance of the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty 1/ and on the implementation of the outcome
of the World Summit for Social Development, 2/

      Recognizing that investment in human capital and domestic and
international policies supportive of economic and social development
are essential prerequisites for the eradication of poverty,

      Noting the activities to eradicate poverty carried out by
countries, by organizations and bodies of the United Nations system
and by organizations, associations, institutions and entities of civil
society, within the framework of the International Year for the
Eradication of Poverty, and the coordinated implementation of and
follow-up to the results of the major United Nations conferences and
summits organized since 1990 in the economic, social and related
fields,

      Noting also the action to be taken within the framework of the
first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006),

      Recalling its resolution 50/161 of 22 December 1995, in which it
decided to hold a special session in the year 2000 for an overall
review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the World
Summit for Social Development 3/ and to consider further actions
and initiatives, inter alia, towards the eradication of poverty in the
world,

      Taking note of the agreed conclusions on coordination of the
United Nations system activities for poverty eradication, adopted by
the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1996, 4/ 
as well as of the outcome of the sessions of relevant functional
commissions of the Economic and Social Council in 1996,

      1.    Expresses its solidarity with people living in poverty in
all countries and reaffirms that the satisfaction of basic human needs
is an essential element of poverty eradication, those needs being
closely interrelated and comprising nutrition, health, water and
sanitation, education, employment, housing and participation in
cultural and social life;

      2.    Also expresses its solidarity with those suffering from a
lack of control over resources, including land, skills, knowledge,
capital and social connections, and calls for particular actions to
provide appropriate social services to enable vulnerable people and
people living in poverty to improve their lives, to exercise their
rights and to participate fully in all social, economic and political
activities and to contribute to social and economic development;

      3.    Decides that the theme for the first United Nations Decade
for the Eradication of Poverty shall be "Eradicating poverty is an
ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind", and
also decides to adopt the logo for the Decade as proposed in the
report of the Secretary-General; 5/

      4.    Recommends that, within the context of overall action for
the eradication of poverty, special attention should be given to the
multidimensional nature of poverty and to the national and
international framework conditions and policies that are conducive to
its eradication, which should aim at the social and economic
integration of people living in poverty and the promotion and
protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,
including the right to development;

      5.    Also recommends that the causes of poverty be addressed in
the context of sectoral strategies such as those on environment, food
security, population, migration, health, shelter, human resources
development, fresh water, including clean water and sanitation, rural
development and productive employment, and by addressing the specific
needs of vulnerable groups, all of which should aim at the social and
economic integration of people living in poverty;

      6.    Decides that the themes for 1997 and 1998 shall be "Poverty,
environment and development" and "Poverty, human rights and
development", respectively; the themes for the remaining years of the
Decade will be decided every two years, commencing in 1998, at the
fifty-third session of the General Assembly;

      7.    Also decides that the objective of the first United Nations
Decade for the Eradication of Poverty is to achieve the goal of
eradicating absolute poverty and reducing overall poverty
substantially in the world, through decisive national actions and
international cooperation in implementing fully and effectively all
agreements, commitments and recommendations of major United Nations
conferences and summits organized since 1990 as they relate to poverty
eradication;

      8.    Invites all donors to give high priority to the eradication
of poverty in their assistance budgets and programmes, on either a
bilateral or multilateral basis, and also invites the relevant funds,
programmes and agencies of the United Nations system to support
developing countries, particularly African countries and the least
developed countries, in their efforts to achieve the overall goal of
eradicating poverty and ensuring basic social services, by supporting
national efforts to formulate, coordinate, implement, monitor and
assess integrated poverty strategies, including capacity-building, and
by supporting efforts to empower people living in poverty;

      9.    Stresses that international cooperation and assistance are
essential to supporting the efforts of developing countries,
particularly African countries and the least developed countries, to
meet the goal of eradicating poverty, and stresses at the same time
that, at the request of Governments, the United Nations system should
provide technical assistance in further developing and sustaining
national capacities to gather and analyse information and to develop
indicators for poverty analysis;

      10.   Calls upon all Governments and the United Nations system, in
particular the relevant funds, programmes and agencies, to promote an
active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective and to
use gender analysis as a tool for the integration of a gender
dimension into the planning and implementation of policies, strategies
and programmes on poverty eradication;

      11.   Stresses that during the Decade 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, activities and
programmes for poverty eradication and the development of community
bases, ensuring that such programmes reflect their priorities;

      12.   Encourages developing countries, particularly African
countries and the least developed countries, to mobilize domestic and
external resources for poverty eradication activities and programmes
and to facilitate their full and effective implementation;

      13.   Recommends that all Governments formulate or strengthen
integrated poverty eradication strategies and policies and implement
national poverty eradication plans or programmes, in a participatory
manner, to address the structural causes of poverty, encompassing
action on the local, national, subregional, regional and international
levels, and stresses that those plans or programmes should establish,
within each national context, strategies and affordable time-bound
goals and targets for the substantial reduction of overall poverty and
the eradication of absolute poverty;

      14.   Recognizes the need to increase the share of funding for
social development programmes, in particular basic social programmes,
commensurate with the scope and scale of the activities required to
achieve the objectives and goals set out in commitment 2 of the
Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development 6/ and chapter II of
the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, 7/
relating to the eradication of poverty;

      15.   Reaffirms, in this context, that developed countries should,
as soon as possible, strive for the fulfilment of the agreed target of
0.7 per cent of their gross national product for overall official
development assistance and, where agreed, within that target, earmark
0.15 to 0.20 per cent of gross national product for the least
developed countries;

      16.   Also reaffirms the agreement on 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,
and notes with interest the consensus reached at Oslo on 25 April 1996
on this matter;

      17.   Welcomes the recent initiatives of the Bretton Woods
institutions, including the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt
Initiative, and the ongoing process at the international level
regarding debt relief, as appropriate, for developing countries, and
calls upon the international community, including international
financial institutions, to implement fully and effectively all
initiatives that will contribute to a durable solution of the debt
problems of developing countries, in particular African countries and
the least developed countries, and thus support their efforts to
eradicate poverty;

      18.   Reaffirms that the international community, including
multilateral financial institutions, should consider further measures
to facilitate the access of developing countries, particularly African
countries and the least developed countries, to international markets,
in order to enable them to implement fully and effectively their
national anti-poverty activities and programmes;

      19.   Urges the international community to reduce, as appropriate,
excessive military expenditures on and investments in arms production
and acquisition, consistent with national security requirements, in
order to increase resources for social and economic development, in
particular to poverty eradication programmes in developing countries,
particularly African countries and the least developed countries;

      20.   Calls upon all States, particularly donor countries, to
contribute substantially to the Trust Fund for the Follow-up to the
World Summit for Social Development, established under the authority
of the Secretary-General, which includes in its activities support for
activities related to the first United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty;

      21.   Invites the Administrator of the United Nations Development
Programme to continue, as a contribution, inter alia, to the Decade,
the effort launched in 1996 with the Poverty Strategies Initiative, in
order to strengthen assistance in the elaboration of national plans,
programmes and strategies to eradicate poverty in developing
countries, particularly African countries and the least developed
countries, and calls upon all countries to contribute to the
Initiative;

      22.   Welcomes the agreed conclusions on the coordination of
United Nations system activities for poverty eradication, adopted by
the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1996, 4/
and calls for their full and effective implementation by organizations
of the United Nations system;

      23.   Notes with interest the initiative to convene a micro-credit
summit in Washington, D.C., from 2 to 4 February 1997, to focus on the
importance of increasing access to micro-credit and related financial
services for self-employment and income-generating activities for
people living in poverty, in particular women in developing countries,
and calls upon all Governments, the United Nations system, including
the Bretton Woods institutions, and the relevant actors of civil
society to participate actively in the summit so as to contribute to
its successful outcome and to support the development, implementation
and management of micro-credit programmes in developing countries;

      24.   Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the
Secretariat entity entrusted with the task of system-wide promotion of
and follow-up to activities and programmes of the Decade with adequate
human and financial resources within the regular budget of the United
Nations to enable it to discharge fully and effectively its functions
and responsibilities;

      25.   Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the
reports to be prepared for the 1997 special session of the General
Assembly for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the
implementation of Agenda 21 give due attention to the issue of poverty
eradication;

      26.   Further requests the Secretary-General to report to the
General Assembly at its fifty-second session on the overall assessment
of the implementation of the programme for the observance of the
International Year for the Eradication of Poverty, taking into account
progress being made in the implementation of the outcome of the World
Summit for Social Development, including recommendations for possible
actions and initiatives in relation to the Decade;

      27.   Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-
second session an item entitled "First United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006)".

                                                          86th plenary meeting
                                                              16 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    A/51/443.

2/    A/51/348.

3/    See A/CONF.166/9.

4/    A/51/3 (Part I), chap. III, para. 2; see Official Records of the
General Assembly, Fifty-first Session, Supplement No.3

5/    A/51/443, paras. 53 (a) and (b).

6/    A/CONF.166/9, chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.

7/    Ibid., annex II.

 

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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:55:20
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