Strengthening international cooperation to combat poverty

There exists a powerful common interest in working together to help reduce poverty and promote equitable and sustainable development worldwide. Many of the world's contemporary challenges - war and conflict; mass migration; the violation of human rights; international crime, drug trafficking and terrorism; environmental degradation; and rapid population growth - are rooted in underdevelopment, poverty and social inequality. Reducing poverty and inequality will contribute to greater global stability and security, and will help create the conditions for more effective international co-operation to deal with global environmental problems such as climate change, ozone depletion and threats to biodiversity.

Governments across the world have a responsibility to substantially increase their overall contribution to poverty eradication and sustainable development. That particularly means operationalising the international poverty eradication strategy which derives from the major United Nations conferences of the past decade: Jomtien, Rio, Cairo, Copenhagen, Beijing and Istanbul. The international development strategy commits the world's richest countries to working in partnership with developing countries to achieve a number of specific targets. The major goal is to halve the proportion of the world's population living in abject poverty by 2015. Further targets include: universal primary education, basic healthcare and reproductive healthcare for all, and sustainable development plans to be in place in every country.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Cooperation may take the form of: assisting governments, when requested, in formulating and implementing national action programmes on poverty alleviation and sustainable development; action-oriented activities such as poverty eradication projects and programmes, supplemented where relevant by food aid, and support for and special emphasis on employment and income generation.

At the Social Development Summit (Copenhagen, 1994) delegates supported the recommendation that countries assign 0.7 percent of their GNP to developmental aid, with 20 percent of this designed to meet basic social needs. Receiving countries are expected to assign 20 percent of their budget to similar programmes as a voluntary bilateral gesture.

Society Disadvantaged
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality