United Nations regarding poverty eradication
- Natural Resources
Statement by Mr Andrew Goledzinowski, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations Commission on Social Development regarding poverty eradication.
Eradicating poverty is one of the greatest challenges of our time. World leaders have acknowledged this. As Australia's Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, said at the MDG Review Summit in September 2010, our view is that the richest among us have a profound responsibility to help the poorest of the human family out of poverty. Whether suffered at home or abroad, poverty is degrading, de-humanising and destroys human dignity.
The Commission for Social Development's consideration of poverty eradication comes at an opportune time – just five months after the MDG Review Summit and three months before the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), to be held in Istanbul in May. We must also not forget that this year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Right to Development. This is a significant milestone. Development and poverty eradication are linked. Eradicating poverty boosts growth for all, grows trade and investment, grows jobs and builds peace and stability.
Australia is particularly concerned about the vulnerabilities and challenges that the group of 48 LDCs continue to face. It is essential that LDCs build their resilience to withstand shocks and crises in order to enable the eradication of poverty and a more sustainable path to development.
There can be no true success in achieving the MDGs without true development outcomes for LDCs. There can be no meaningful and lasting eradication of poverty without properly addressing the needs of LDCs.
Australia is pleased to be Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Fourth United Nations Conference on LDCs. We expect the Istanbul Program of Action to stress the importance of strong national ownership and leadership.
Enhancing productive and trade capacities of LDCs is instrumental. Human development is also a prerequisite to inclusive and sustained economic growth.
Action must be taken to enhance inclusive, sustained and equitable economic growth. This must include building human resource and productive capacities, increasing the quality and quantity of necessary infrastructure, improving the environment for increased domestic and foreign investment, increasing market access of LDCs in international and regional trading systems, and ensuring environmentally sustainable management of natural resources.
Agricultural productivity and rural development are essential to promote economic growth in rural areas, to ensure better food security and to promote stronger markets that can withstand shocks. Measures must be taken to promote sustainable practices in this sector. For our part, Australia will spend $1.8 billion on food security over the next five years, including strong programs in agriculture and rural development, research and development, a multi-year partnership with the World Food Programme, and funding for the World Bank's Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, which provides grants to the most food insecure countries to support their national food security strategies.
It is important that LDCs and other countries facing development and poverty eradication challenges become more resilient and able to mitigate shocks and other challenges that threaten to reverse development gains. Finding better ways to reduce the risk and effects of climate change, conflict, environmental degradation and financial shocks are critical, and should be prioritised. Enhanced economic management is also essential, and this year we will spend $177 million on such programs to ensure effective resource mobilisation and management from all quarters.
Australia is on track to be the fastest-growing donor in the OECD. We are a strong partner for many LDCs. We have untied aid and cancelled debt. We support aid for trade. We were the first country to provide duty-free/quota-free market access to all imports from LDCs in 2003. Over a fifth of our aid program – or $1billion – is provided to LDCs. We have committed to work towards providing 0.15 of Gross National Income in aid to LDCs, in line with international targets.
The renewed commitment of world leaders to the MDGs made at the MDG Review
Summit five months ago must be harnessed. This requires unwavering commitment
and dedication. For its part, Australia remains committed to this goal.