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Back | Programme Area: Special Events (2000 - 2009)

UNRISD Flagship Report 2010: Combating Poverty and Inequality

Date: 3 Sep 2010

The Official Launch of the UNRISD Report, Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics took place on 3 September 2010 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (Room XII).

This was an all-day public event co-hosted by UNRISD and UNOG.

There was a morning reception and presentation of the report followed by discussion, and afternoon panels focusing on particular report themes.

PDF versions of the powerpoint presentations from the launch are now available via the "Presentations" link in the top right of the page.

About the Report

Poverty reduction is a central feature of the international development agenda and contemporary poverty reduction strategies increasingly focus on “targeting the poor”, yet poverty and inequality remain intractable foes.

Combating Poverty and Inequality argues that this is because many current approaches to reducing poverty and inequality fail to consider key institutional, policy and political dimensions that may be both causes of poverty and inequality, and obstacles to their reduction.

The report is structured around three main issues, which, it argues, are the critical elements of a sustainable and inclusive development strategy:
  • patterns of growth and structural change (whether in the agricultural, industrial or service sectors) that generate and sustain jobs that are adequately remunerated and accessible to all, regardless of income or class status, gender, ethnicity or location;
  • comprehensive social policies that are grounded in universal rights and that are supportive of structural change, social cohesion and democratic politics; and
  • protection of civic rights, activism and political arrangements that ensure states are responsive to the needs of citizens and the poor have influence in how policies are made.

The report lays out a range of policies and institutional measures that countries can adopt to alleviate poverty and inequality. It will thus be of interest to policy, scholarly and activist audiences.

About the Event


Welcome Reception

Report Presentation and Panel Discussion

Event Opening by UNRISD Director Ms. Sarah Cook
Remarks by UNOG Director-General Mr. Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze
Report Overview by UNRISD Research Coordinator Mr. Yusuf Bangura

Distinguished Panelists
Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Mr. Thandika Mkandawire, Chair in African Development, LSE
Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, UNDESA
Mr. Vicente Paolo Yu III, Coordinator, Global Governance for Development, South Centre
Q&A moderated by UNRISD

Panel Discussion 1 - Combating Poverty: Addressing Employment and Inequality

Chair: Mr. Charles Gore, Chief of Research and Policy Analysis Africa Division, LDCs and Special Programmes, UNCTAD
Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, UNDESA
Ms. Barbara Harriss-White, Professor of Development Studies, Oxford University
Ms. Shahra Razavi, Research Coordinator, UNRISD

Panel Discussion 2 - Beyond the MDGs: Transformative Social Policy and the Politics of Poverty Reduction
Chair: Ms. Jane Hodges, Director, ILO Bureau for Gender Equality
Mr. Fernando Filgueira, Assistant Representative, UNFPA Uruguay
Mr. Adebayo Olukoshi, Director, UN IDEP
Ms. Katja Hujo, Research Coordinator, UNRISD

Closing Remarks