This event explored why poverty reduction is the ultimate goal of development. Elham Sayedsayamdost asked, “Why do we focus on poverty as opposed to other problems such as inequality? And what are the results of the focus on poverty reduction?” One reason offered is that the focus on poverty didn’t threaten any existing interests, didn’t call for a reform of institutional organizations, and didn’t advance the very controversial notion that a redistribution of wealth was necessary. Rather than reforming global rules and regulations that favor some states over others, the focus on poverty not only reframed development, it also shifted the onus from international organizations back to the states. This was one of the more controversial discussions with a lively and informative debate following the presentations.
Elham Seyedsayamdost, recent Columbia University PhD in political science.
Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor at The New School and lead author and director of the UNDP Development Reports from 1995 to 2004.
H.E. Mr. Christian Wenaweser, permanent representative of Lichtenstein to the United Nations