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An open e-discussion (14 February to 16 March 2007) on ‘Strengthening Efforts to Eradicate Poverty and Hunger' was organized by the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC) and UNDP as part of a larger process of global consultation in preparation for the AMR. Participants addressed several aspects of the fight against poverty and hunger, responding to questions around the themes of jobless growth, globalization and trade, reducing rural and urban poverty, and long-term solutions to hunger. The exchanges contributed to the AMR process and to the Report of the Secretary-General on the theme of the 2007 AMR. Donald Lee, OIC, Social Perspective on Policy Branch, Division for Social Policy and Development, DESA; Nora Lustig, Director Poverty Group Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP; and Duncan Campbell, Director, Policy Integration Department, ILO, served as guest mod erators . For a summary of the discussion please click here.

Practitioners and policy experts were asked to contribute based on their knowledge of country-level actions to reduce poverty and hunger. Since the thematic focus of the 2007 AMR was broad, the e-discussion presented several focused questions within five thematic clusters:

Reduction of Jobless Growth:

  • What national policies would assist developing countries to break the trend of jobless growth and generate youth employment in particular?
  • In what ways can the broader international community support these efforts, including through trade policy?
  • What are the existing useful diagnostic tools and methodologies used for identifying the constraints/challenges resulting in less optimal job creation and jobless growth?

Innovative National Policies to Reduce Rural and Urban Poverty:

  • What national strategies and mechanisms work to reduce persisting rural poverty?
  • Should rural-to-urban migration be discouraged? How can the urbanization of poverty be prevented?
  • To what extent does the increase of asset ownership and access to financial services improves financial security and employment opportunities of the poor?  

Global Governance of Trade:

  • What are the critical changes that need to be made in the global governance of trade to enable equity and fairness in the international trading system?
  • What innovative policies and strategies can countries use to ensure that the benefits of globalization are both inclusive and equitable, disproportionately benefit the poor and effectively shield them from its perils?

Short-term Response to Long-Term Solutions to Hunger:

  • How can developing countries shift from short-term responses to hunger and food insecurity to long-term solutions? To what extent can biotechnology contribute to this end?
  • What steps can developing countries take to mitigate and adapt to climate change, which threatens to affect food production?

Scaling up the Response:

  • What are emerging opportunities and approaches for countries to increase fiscal space available for development through domestic resource mobilization? 
  • How can the international community best scale-up its financial support for the MDGs, and improve the effectiveness of aid?

The e-Discussion drew the attention of a wide range of audience and benefited from thirty-four contributions from colleagues within the UN system, civil society, academia and the governments. A wide geographic coverage and diversity of respondents' views allowed for a lively discussion and a true global consultation process.