Eradicating Poverty through Fair Trade: Promoting an Ethical Consumerism

February 9, 2011

On the opening day of the Commission For Social Development Handcrafting Justice together with Fair Trade presented a side event entitled ‘Eradicating Poverty through Fair Trade:  Promoting  an Ethical Consumerism.   Flyer for Side Event During the Commission for Social Development

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Photographs from February 9, 2011 on the opening day of the Commission for Social Development

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Some quotations from the opening remarks of Ambassador Jorge Valero, Chair of the Commission for Social Development, Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations. “It is necessary to implement a new paradigm of development with a humanistic character. The current economic and social model hinders the full enjoyment of human rights and the right to development, hinders the eradication  of poverty and the reduction on inequality, it is ineffective in creating jobs and voraciously destroys the environment, mainly punishing the poor and vulnerable.  In this context, it violates – among others – the right to work and health.  It also denies the right to food, which is now subject of an international market that has turned food into objects of speculation. … The dilemma facing the world today is very simple: either we promote development with equity and social justice, or we promote economics and financial policies that deepen inequality and injustice among human beings. … The construction of a new model of development must be centered on the human being.  Social justice, equitable distribution and social protection are the most effective mechanisms to reduce poverty and inequality.”

Panel Discussion on Poverty Eradication

Disconnect between Reality of Poverty — Actions of Governments Explored,  as Panellists, Delegates Alike Call for Alternative Poverty-Eradication Paradigm

This is a head line from the Department of Public Information on the panel discussion at the Commission for Social Development on Thursday February 10, 2011  Read more http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2011/soc4772.doc.htm

One of the panelists was Jimi O. Adesina, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Director, Transformative Social Policy Programme University of the Western Cape, South Africa.  You can read his notes here http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csocd/2011/Adesina.pdf   “In my small town, the equivalent of R270 per month (which would take everyone above the US$1.25/day benchmark and suggest that we have met MDG1(a)) may eliminate hunger but the person will have to be naked, homeless, and die of hypothermia by mid-July, when our winter is most severe. I am assuming that eating a loaf of bread and three cups of water eliminates hunger, but hardly malnutrition. And if you are of a „Malthusian‟, cold conservative bent, you can argue that by August poverty level would have fallen in my small town—death by hypothermia. I have used this case to illustrate a simple point: even for a measure of destitution living below that condition must be grim, indeed. …  I would suggest that a broader vision of human existence requires that we pay attention to the “Precarious Non-Poor”, in other words, those above the poverty line but are so close to it that any shock pushes them into poverty, swelling the ranks of the poor. Not paying attention to this category creates an illusion of prosperity or achievement of poverty reduction targets. The proportion of a society lives within this band is extremely important in human and policy terms. The severity of the deleterious impact of structural adjustment policy programmes in most African countries is, in part, because a significant proportion of our population were in this category: the Precarious Non-Poor.”