Outgoing UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon has called on governments and people around the world to break down the walls of poverty and exclusion that continue to plague so many people in every region.
Ban said as the world observes the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, nations around the world must build inclusive societies that promote participation by all as well as ensure that the voices of all those living in poverty are heard.
The UNSG thinks that poverty is both a cause and consequence of marginalization and social exclusion and as such to fulfill the promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind, the humiliation and exclusion of people living in poverty must be adequately addressed.
The UN envoy’s statement was contained in his official message to the world on Monday to mark the observance of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Ban said UN nations are approaching the first year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said the 2030 Agenda is a universal vision for peace, prosperity and dignity for all people on a healthy planet, noting that achieving such objective is inconceivable without fulfilling the mandate of SDG-1 to end poverty in all its forms.
According to Ban, humiliation and exclusion are powerful drivers of social unrest and, in extreme cases, the violent extremism that is troubling so many parts of the world.
He indicated that in most instances, people living in poverty respond to these societal ills with stoic resilience as they work to escape the degrading reality of their daily lives.
According to the outgoing UNSG, over one billion people are living in extreme poverty and more than 800 million endure hunger and malnutrition, noting that, ” poverty is not simply measured by inadequate income, but it is also manifested in restricted access to health, education and other essential services.”
“The duty of all Governments and societies is to address systemic socio-economic inequalities and facilitate the engagement of all people living in extreme poverty so they can help themselves, their families and their communities to build a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous future for all,” Ban indicated.