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Statement of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Tajikistan, Ms. Pratibha Mehta on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, October 17, 2017

25 years ago the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 47/196 of December 22, 1992 recognized the October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This is the day when the United Nations jointly with global development community is calling for solidarity with all people who strive to eradicate extreme poverty, hunger, discrimination, ignorance and violence.  The theme of 2017 End Poverty campaign is: “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” [1].

The year of 2017 is also an auspicious year for the United Nations family in Tajikistan, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of partnership between the United Nations and the Government of Tajikistan. Throughout the whole month of October 2017, the United Nations Agencies in Tajikistan are implementing a joint country-wide awareness raising campaign devoted to Sustainable Development Goals and commemoration of several international dates, including the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty that we mark today. 

On this occasion, on behalf of United Nations in Tajikistan I would like to commend the significant efforts of the Government and people of Tajikistan to ensure peace and recover from the turmoil of the civil unrests and economic collapse in the 90th and to set up a new development pathway based on the principles of the sustainable human development and shaped by country’s commitments for UN adopted Millennium Development Agenda (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tajikistan’s success in fighting poverty is recognized worldwide. It is listed among the top-10 countries with the fastest pace of poverty reduction from 83% in 2000 to 30.3% in 2016.

Despite several remarkable achievements of the country in meeting the national MDG goals there are still a significant share of people living in Tajikistan who are facing challenges in terms of access to education, healthcare, quality food, housing, decent job, and thus remain vulnerable to multidimensional poverty.  National data confirm that people in the lower 40% of the distribution of consumption face higher multiple deprivations compared to those who are in the upper 60%.  People living in rural areas, single-parent families, families with many children, female-headed households and elderly women are particularly at risk to multiple deprivation as they lack in skills and economic opportunities; due toweakness of social support mechanisms and gender bias in every sphere.

Fighting poverty in all its form remains an overarching agenda for United Nations, and is the cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.  I want like to quote the statement of UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group, Mr. Achim Steiner, released on international poverty day “The critical importance of leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first: here the UN can help countries better understand and address inequalities in all their forms” [2]. At the country level, the United Nations committed to supporting efforts of the Government of Tajikistan in implementing the National Development Strategy 2016-2030 and promote developing sustainable and inclusive society and increase the living standard of the people of Tajikistan. Tajikistan is at the forefront of nationalizing SDGS in the National Development Strategy and in presenting the Voluntary National Review report at UNECOSOC’s High Level Political Forum in July 2017.

Jointly with the Government and people of Tajikistan, the United Nations family is stepping up to the challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and supporting the ambitious national agenda to eliminate poverty in all corners of the country.

“The poverty eradication is still an urgent issue, and the achievement of the set goals in the next 15 years underlies the changing approaches to addressing poverty issues through addressing food security, food quality and safety, energy security, water sector issues, climate change, other SDGs, affecting the standard of living and well-being of the population. 

Sustainable development cannot be achieved without ensuring a decent life and respect for the rights of all residents of the country without exception, empowering them, ensuring reproductive health and rights, decent work, and promoting economic growth. Increasing investment in health and education of young people and empowering more women will reveal the currently inadequately used potential of the working-age population and contribute to the transformational development of the country.

Tajikistan’s Voluntary National Review Report, July 2017.
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