NGO Committee for Social Development Contribution for 2006 ...

Recognizing  interdependence

Lack of political will has been used repetitively by governments and civil society to describe the failure of the international community to solve many of the worlds problems, particularly poverty eradication. In order for the political will to emerge, recognition of the interconnection between global challenges and the reality of our interdependence in addressing these challenges must be firmly established in the minds and hearts of the worlds leaders.  As the Draft Outcome Document of the 2005 September Summit declares, “development, security and human rights form the indispensable foundations for collective security and well-being” and it also states that, “we live in a global and interdependent world” where “no state can stand wholly alone.”  Declaring these concepts at the Summit is a solid first step but true recognition of our interdependence and the subsequent benefits of this recognition will only be actualized by changing the process of international problem solving.


The goal of eradicating poverty cannot be successfully fulfilled without an acknowledgment that those who live in conditions of poverty are the most critical
stakeholders, and as such should be involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of any policies or projects directed towards this goal. Such a vision requires a participative methodology with direct and broad-based consultation of those who live in conditions of poverty at every level of policy and decision-making.  Given that the MDGs are interrelated and in fact, the success of one goal depends on the success of the others, this partnership with the people directly affected by policies is essential.

Moral imperative

The Secretary Generals Report In Larger Freedom and the Draft Outcome Document for the September Summit stress that development and security are mutually dependent. The goal of eradicating poverty can no longer be seen as kindness or charity on the part of wealthy nations; it is a matter of justice. Now that it is within our power and resources to remove extreme poverty from the world, it is no longer just a good idea, but rather there is a moral imperative to act. Thus it is in the interest of every state without exception that children, women and men are enabled to move away from conditions of poverty. It follows that a higher priority must be given to the issue of poverty eradication on the agenda of the international community than it presently enjoys.

Cultural Shift

In the preparation for the September Summit, a change in the culture of the United Nations has frequently been called for. Coherence, consistency and transparency are required. These affect not only the working of the Secretariat, but also that of
intergovernmental processes at the UN. Human rights, security and development together will lead to prosperity and peace. All three aspects must underpin
the work of the Commission for Social Development. To stay faithful to the vision of Copenhagen , people must be placed at the center of planning for development.
The right of all to development must be clearly acknowledged as a human right. In the rush to reach the Millennium Development Goals it is vital that the most vulnerable in our societies are not overlooked and further marginalized.  

Wealth creation

The spot light should for once be turned on how wealth is created, which is often at the expense of the poor. The aid and trade practices of many rich countries for example have decimated many livelihoods of poor communities. Fundamental to eradicating extreme poverty is effectively addressing the unfair systematic regimes that underpin trade, aid and debt. It is vital to curtail the negative impact that such “wealth creating arrangements” have on poor communities. MDG Goal 8 calls for the development of a
global partnership for development; this is more than an invitation to increase ODA, it is a call for dismantling the unfair regimes that perpetuate extreme poverty.