Human Rights

Eradicating Poverty Remains Greatest Global Challenge, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Economic and Social Council Integration Segment

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks at the opening of the Economic and Social Council integration segment, in New York today:

I am pleased to join you for the opening of the 2017 integration segment of the Economic and Social Council.

I am also really pleased that this segment will discuss a defining question for the years ahead, namely: What will it take to make poverty eradication an integral objective of all policies?

The answer to this question will provide crucial insights for this period of implementation, where we need to transform the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development] into reality and achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the country level.

Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, particularly extreme poverty, remains the greatest global challenge. It is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

Today, one person in eight lives on less than $2 a day. And many of those who have escaped extreme poverty still live precariously near the poverty line.

Poverty is increasingly concentrated in certain regions and groups, trapping generations of families in vicious cycles of poverty. That is why the first Sustainable Development Goal is to End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

To do that, we must recognize the multidimensional nature of poverty itself, how it interacts with human and environmental health and how it intensifies inequality among and within countries.

Today, we are faced with huge global challenges that cut across sectors and are interlinked with other issues.

Addressing poverty, inequality, climate change, food insecurity and a sluggish and unpredictable global economy requires integrated responses and engagement by all actors. The range of actors is diverse � including Governments from the South and North, as well as many non-State actors from civil society and business.

During my time as Minister of Environment in Nigeria, I saw the challenges it takes to translate the 2030 Agenda into concrete results at the national level.

We know that the Sustainable Development Goals are more effectively realized when they are supported by a comprehensive and integrated policy approach.

Eradicating poverty and delivering on the 2030 Agenda means addressing complex policy interlinkages.

It requires building synergies across all dimensions of poverty eradication and sustainable development, including with the different sectors of economy at the country level. It means prioritizing marginalized and vulnerable people and communities to leave no one behind. And it means investment that is commensurate with the challenge. So, context does matter.

Your discussions over the coming three days offer an opportunity to enlarge the base of evidence on poverty eradication in the context of the 2030 Agenda.

It is also an opportunity to see how national approaches and the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals indicator framework can support each other in advancing integrated implementation and reviewing progress.

With this in mind, the 2017 integration segment is well placed to support the high-level political forum on sustainable development.

Implementing the 2030 Agenda poses a significant different challenge for the United Nations development system. Our ambition must meet and match the ambition of the Agenda that Member States have set.

I welcome the General Assembly’s 2016 quadrennial comprehensive policy review, which aligns the United Nations development system with national implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and promotes effective, efficient and coherent working to deliver results to improve people’s lives.

Your discussions this week can further these efforts.

A significant focus of this integration segment is to offer specific and technically oriented guidance to the high-level political forum and the Economic and Social Council. It can also support national implementation of the 2030 Agenda through integrated, holistic and results-oriented approaches.

I trust your discussions this week will generate ideas, insights and policy recommendations on how to eradicate poverty and advance the 2030 Agenda through integrated actions and programmes at the country level.

We need options that will enable policymakers at the global, regional and national level to foster coherent and integrated approaches to poverty eradication.

Let us address this task with a sense of urgency. The world’s most vulnerable people count on our efforts.

Expectations are very high and now is the time. We have a collective responsibility to deliver results at the country level.

I wish you a productive meeting.

Source: United Nations