Development must be built on inclusive policy aligned with people’s needs, aspirations – Ban

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Village shop at dusk in Sri Lanka lit by solar panels. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Sansoni

5 February 2015 – In a speech to the United Nations Commission for Social Development on the 20th anniversary of the Copenhagen Declaration – the outcome of a summit which emphasized, for the first time, the need to put people at the centre of development –Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that the world’s current generation is the first able to wipe out extreme poverty and the last that could address the worst impacts of climate change.

“There is one word above all that must guide us on this roadmap to ending poverty, transforming lives and protecting the planet,” he told the Commission, and added: “That word is: dignity.”

Mr. Ban said that policymakers in the past had focused too much on economic growth, without taking into account social concerns or environmental factors.

“The World Summit on Social Development helped reorient thinking,” he said. “It emphasized that economic growth must be judged in terms of its impact on human well-being – rather than an end in itself. It stressed not just the quantity, but the quality of growth.”

He described how the 1995 World Summit ¬– which has become informally known as the ‘Social Summit’ – has emphasised the integrated nature of social, economic and environmental pursuits and had emphasised the need to put people “at the centre” of development.

The Secretary-General went to emphasize the importance of social development to making the planet just, safe and healthy for everyone and he said that all development should be built on a foundation of policies centred on peoples’ needs and aspirations.

Noting the year’s importance to global development, with the target date of the MDGs approaching and negotiations ongoing for a new sustainable development agenda under way, Mr. Ban underlined the importance of the Commission’s continuing work following-up and implementing the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.

“On this 20th anniversary of the World Social Summit, let us reaffirm our commitment to promoting social development and social justice, and building a better – more sustainable – world for all,” he said.

Source: United Nations

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