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For a new discourse on poverty

Feb 05, 2010

United Nations publication Rethinking Poverty underlines the need to open up a discourse on poverty reduction that centres on inclusive development and the ending of social exclusion. Several policy areas are highlighted where rethinking is required to generate transformations and growth that can bring sustainable benefits to the poor.

Rethinking Poverty

Publisher: United Nations, Dec 2009

The Report on the World Social Situation, prepared biennially, is the flagship publication on major social development issues of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.

Rethinking Poverty, the 2010 issue of the Report on the World Social Situation seeks to contribute to rethinking poverty and its eradication. It affirms the urgent need for a strategic shift away from the market fundamentalist thinking, policies and practices of recent decades towards more sustainable development- and equity-oriented policies appropriate to national conditions and circumstances. Such national development strategies, as called for by the 2005 World Summit, should seek to achieve the development goals. Responsible development and counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies to foster productive investments and generate decent employment must be at the core of this effort.

The Report makes a compelling case for rethinking poverty and poverty-reduction efforts, saying that over-reliance on market forces and economic liberalization have led to neglect of nationally designed and developmentally-oriented strategies, to the detriment of the world’s poor. The most important lesson, accordingly is that governments need to play a developmental role, integrating economic and social policies that support inclusive output and employment growth, while attacking inequality and promoting justice.

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