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UNGA Second Committee Considers Poverty Issues

21 October 2010: The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) met on 21 October 2010, in New York, US, to consider the eradication of poverty and other development issues.

Before the Committee was the report of the UN Secretary-General on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty (document A/65/267), which assesses the benefits and limitations of microcredit and microfinance as a poverty-eradication strategy. In the report, the Secretary-General proposes that governments develop mechanisms to strengthen financial policy coordination in order to improve responses to complex and interlinked development challenges, including poverty, climate change and social exclusion.

Before the Committee was also a note by the UN Secretary-General on industrial development cooperation (document A/65/220) transmitting to the UNGA the relevant report of the Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).  The report highlights recent trends in industrial development, particularly in the context of the global financial and economic crisis. It determines how the food and fuel price crises, climate change and globalization continue to impact productive sectors and international trade in manufactured goods; and examines the role of industrial development in helping address those challenges and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  It also describes UNIDO's response to those challenges. According to the report, achieving growth, reducing poverty and attaining the MDGs will depend on how developing countries and the international community react to an array of interrelated global megatrends, including global crises, demographic change, climate change and the emergence of "green" industry.

Introducing the report on industrial development cooperation, George B. Assaf, Director, UNIDO New York Office, underlined that the extent to which the world's poorest countries could hope to participate in sustainable economic growth depended on their responses to a number of development challenges, including climate change and energy. He added that the fundamental challenge for industry was decoupling the consumption of natural resources and the release of greenhouse gases (GHG) from economic growth.

In the ensuing discussion, Belgium, on behalf of the EU, said a green economy would offer the potential for considerable growth while tackling the key challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and natural-resource depletion. [UN Press Release]