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55th Session on the Commission for Social Development

Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for All

The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) takes place annually from 1st to 10th February. It brings together representatives of the civil society, faith-based organizations, NGOs and NPOs from 40 member countries to share the challenges faced in advancing social development and learn from each other’s experiences. The CSoCD is the advisory body responsible for the social development pillar of global development.

This year, the 55th session of the Commission was held at the United Nation’s Headquarter in New York under the theme “Strategies for Eradication of Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for All”. Underlining the fundamental role of social development in implementing the SDGs, the Agenda 2030 provided a greater sense of urgency to the Commission’s work as one of the functional commissions of ECOSOC.

You are invited to read more about the Commission here

A BK delegation of 4 – Kinnari Murthy, Ishita Contractor, Sabita Geer, and Raghav Chawla – attended and participated in a number of side events.

A summary has been prepared below:

The side event on ‘Promoting Inter-generational Relations: Age Diversity and its Effects on Youth Policy Development’ focused on the global ageing trends with special emphasis on issues of both, countries with a large youth population and those with a growing elderly population. Through discussions and expert opinions from the panel, it became clear that this global trend of ageing of countries is closely linked to the economic, social and political state of the nations. Factors like access to healthcare, education and a robust economy significantly affect this trend. Moreover, it was highlighted that based on the quality of life, the ageing trend of nations should be separately considered keeping in mind the life expectancy of each nation.

Intergenerational workshop: Prof. Bernd Marin, Austrian Social Scientist

Another side event on ‘The Role of a Shared Society as a Strategy to Reduce Poverty’ highlighted the interdependent roles and duty of all stakeholders in solving the challenges faced by the global community. The discussion, with the help of audio-visual aids,  on ‘The Triad of Grass Roots Engagement, Advocacy, and Systemic Change in the Eradication of Poverty’ generated a lot of interaction. The role of governments and related bodies in building strong and supporting relations between countries to end poverty was  emphasized.

The insightful high level discussion on multi-cultural and multi-religious representatives, facilitated by UNESCO Center for Global Education, highlighted that willingness to establish peace is critical in eradicating poverty from the world.

While delegates talked about access to mental health resources for all ages and solutions for reducing mental illnesses based on the evidence shared by the panelists, including Dr. Lena Verdeli, Director of Global Mental Health at Teachers College, Columbia University, youth representatives engaged in a round-table discussion about increasing youth participation in the United Nations.

The parallel event on ‘Inclusive Growth and Social Discrimination’ was supported by findings of a study by UN DESA. Another workshop also emphasized on the role of social inclusion and global citizenship in ending poverty. Focused group discussions in a workshop format were conducted that brought out challenges faced by different countries and solutions were identified based upon each other’s experiences.

From our perspective, poverty eradication is no longer a political or policy makers’ concern. Rather, it is everyone’s! When each of us join hands with all sectors – public, private, social, economical – to lead a life of dignity and share what we have received (material and non-material) with others, this can be achieved.

It is no longer “them” but “us” who can make this happen.

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