People's voices must be heard in fight against poverty

26 May 2010

New York – The global fight against poverty can only be won with the help of the world’s citizens, the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) stressed during a meeting with leaders of advocacy and policy organizations in New York. “The threats of today’s multiple crises to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) make it clear that the United Nations must work creatively with civil society in all its diversity,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “People’s perspectives must be included in new concepts for social and economic development.”
 
UNDP’s Civil Society Committee noted the organization’s unique ability to support countries that struggle with the adverse effects of climate change, as well as of the economic and food crises. “UNDP is well placed to change the terms of the economic and development debate, and we in civil society can help you do this,” said Committee member John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, based in Washington D.C.
The committee further called for a stronger alliance of civil society groups and networks with UNDP to advance policies that would help countries achieve sustainable human development and the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The advisory committee, meeting in New York on May 20-21, proposed that UNDP become the central arena in the UN for rethinking development efforts in the context of the financial, food and climate crises. The ten-year review of progress on the Millennium Development Goals, to take place at the United Nations in September, should be an occasion for UNDP and civil society to scale up collaborative efforts to address the impact of these crises on the world’s poor and accelerate the achievement of these goals.  

UNDP created the Civil Society Advisory Committee in 2000. It is composed of 14 civil society leaders, representing not-for-profit advocacy and policy organizations from several parts of the world. The committee advises UNDP on key areas, such as democratic governance, human rights, gender equality, the Human Development Report and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight wide-ranging , internationally-agreed goals which seek to alleviate poverty, tackle environmental sustainability, and improve the access of girls to education by 2015. UNDP is the only UN agency that engages with civil society representatives in such an advisory forum at headquarters.
 
More information about the UNDP Civil Society Advisory Committee:
http://www.undp.org/partners/civil_society/civil_society_advisory_committee.shtml

About UNDP’s work with civil society organizations:
http://www.undp.org/partners/civil_society/index.shtml