UN Commission for Social Development Focuses on Poverty Reduction
1 February 2012: The 50th session of the UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) has opened at UN Headquarters. The session will focus on poverty eradication, youth unemployment and socially-inclusive policies, taking into account the global economic crisis and climate change. Opening statements from UN officials highlighted the importance of social development for sustainable development and the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).
During the first day, the Commission examined the Social Protection Floor initiative, aimed at promoting strategies for poverty reduction and empowerment of vulnerable people to afford food, education and basic services.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro reminded participants that development can never be sustainable "if it leaves behind millions of people unemployed, poor, hungry and excluded," and if ecosystems are damaged in the process. She highlighted, in regard to the UNCSD, that "the future we all want is people-centred, inclusive, equitable and sustainable." She noted that these issues should be part of the discussions on a post-2015 development agenda.
Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and UNCSD Secretary-General, stressed the importance of the social pillar of sustainable development, which incorporates issues of access to resources and opportunities, social justice and equity, participation and empowerment. He urged member States to focus on how a green economy could best contribute to the creation of jobs and the eradication of poverty. He underscored that climate change and environmental degradation are severely straining some populations in the Horn of Africa, leading to social and humanitarian crises.