Making eradication of poverty an integral objective of all policies: what will it take?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes poverty as the “greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.” To eradicate it, coordinated efforts must be undertaken to build on the achievements realized so far and to prevent current and future challenges from jeopardizing further progress.

There are still over 800 million people living on less than $1.90 a day, the international poverty line, and 10% of the world’s workers and their families are poor, a sign that access to a job is not enough to escape poverty. At the same time, inequality has been rising and can hinder progress in the fight against poverty.

Social policy alone cannot eradicate poverty, and neither can policies focusing only on the income aspect of poverty. As other policies have direct or indirect impacts on poverty results, poverty eradication objectives must be included in the design of public policy in a cross-cutting manner. Therefore, countries will need to adopt integrated policy frameworks involving a wider range of stakeholders, embracing innovative approaches and partnerships. This will also reinforce inclusiveness and transparency while fostering greater efficiency in policymaking.

As in the case at the national level, achieving policy coherence at all levels in development cooperation is also of vital importance, in order to catalyze other sources of financing and propel developing countries to unleash their enormous sustainable development potential. This entails meeting ODA commitments, as well as the mobilization of domestic and international resources, public and private, and technical cooperation support. It further requires increased coherence of the international monetary, financial and trade systems.

The 2017 ECOSOC Integration Segment will take place from 8 – 10 May 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York. It provides a platform for dialogue and exchange of views by Member States, the UN system, ECOSOC subsidiary bodies, and other relevant stakeholders – such as NGOs, academia and the private sector – on best practices and lessons learned in efforts to address poverty. Policy recommendations will be extracted to guide integrated policymaking for the eradication of poverty in all its dimensions as an integral part of the 2030 Agenda.

The proceedings and recommendations of the Segment will be available for consideration by Member States in the High-level Political Forum meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC, and the ECOSOC High-level Segment, to take place in July 2017. Its recommendations may be reflected in the Ministerial Declaration as the main outcome document at the culmination of the ECOSOC cycle.

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