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Joint Statement on behalf of the Like-Minded-Countries (LMC) on the draft guiding principle on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
2012/09/12
 

Madam President,

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the following countries:Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Egypt,  DPRK, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia Federation,Sri Lanka, Thailand,Venezuela,Vietnam and China.

We would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for presenting the "final draft of the guiding principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights". We believe that the efforts and the process undertaken which span over a decade, to develop these guidelines has led us today to an important milestone in addressing the inter-linkages of extreme poverty and human rights.

       We cannot agree more with the Special Rapporteur that poverty is not solely an economic issue, but rather a multidimensional phenomenon which is an urgent human rights concern in itself. A human rights based approach can provide a framework for the long-term eradication of extreme poverty based on recognition of persons living in extreme poverty as rights holders and agents of change.

       We appreciate that the guidelines prepared by the Special Rapporteur while keeping emphasis on extreme poverty, do not exclude the possibility of utilization of these principles for poverty in general. This will help avoid exclusion of a large population of underprivileged humanity from benefitting from these guiding principles.

       We also agree with the Special Rapporteur that concrete actions need to be taken by states in their national spheres to eradicate extreme poverty and those national efforts must be supported by an enabling international environment. This enabling environment at the international level can be created by operationalizing the right to development – the right that was recognized by the international community 25 years back.

       With regards to the international support to the national efforts and their interlinkages, there already exists a certain degree of ownership and coherence between national poverty reduction policies and the corresponding international support. However, the factors contributing to extreme poverty such as discrimination, marginalization, stigmatization, food, water, shelter, education, health etc. are complex and inter-related. Hence, they call for a comprehensive and sustainable solution both nationally and internationally. We appreciate that the Special Rapporteur has highlighted some of these factors in her guidelines as specific rights.

       While the international organizations have been encouraged by the Special Rapporteur through these guidelines to support the States in their efforts for implementation of these guiding principles, more needs to be done on their part. The international organizations need to be more proactive in assessing how their work is actually contributing to reducing extreme poverty. 

 

Although there are concrete recommendations proposed for actions by states for fulfilling specific rights, there is a need for pointing out specific and concrete steps to be taken for fulfillment of obligations of international assistance and cooperation. Similarly the role of non-state actors, including business enterprises needs to be further spelled out through action points.

 

With regard to the implementation and monitoring of these guiding principles, we are of the opinion that the Special Rapporteur needs to look into some approaches which can ensure that the desire to intrinsically link extreme poverty eradication with a human rights based approach can turn into a reality. Lack of focus on implementation of the draft guidelines would only end up in superficial posturing to address the core issue.

The current food, energy and commodity crisis are further pushing hundreds of millions into the poverty trap every day. If we effectively want to address the question of extreme poverty, we will have to address its root causes both at the national and international levels. The imbalance in the macro-economic trading environment, environmental degradation, tied aid and gradual decline in ODA over years all form part of the root causes of extreme poverty.  Just identifying the symptoms without addressing the causes would not help. We need to move beyond conceptual clarity to practical actions to bring relief to the most vulnerable.

In conclusion, we consider the Draft Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights as a tool, which can lead to developing and shaping measures and activities needed to eradicate extreme poverty across the world. However, just formulating guidelines will not be enough. It would require a strong political will and a multi-pronged and multi-dimensional approach at all levels to make extreme poverty part of history. We need to find solutions to generate enough resources to bring relief to those in need.

I thank you.

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