56th Commission for Social Development

Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all

By Saionara König-Reis – Ended this week the fifty-sixth session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD56) which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 29 January to 7 February. The Commission, which is the main advisory body responsible for the social development pillar of the global development agenda, met this year to discuss “strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”. The CSocD gathered representatives from the different sectors around the 10-day event and created opportunities for exchange during the official activities, side events, civil society forum and youth forum.

Commission for social developmentSome challenges were shared by various statements throughout the event, for instance, the striking consensus that efforts to achieve development for all will not get far without reaching serious levels of gender equality in both so-called developed, developing and underdeveloped nations. Likewise, countries need to put more efforts into collecting comprehensive and sensitive data and into building integrated policies in order to address multidimensional aspects of poverty in a coordinated manner at national and local levels.

56th Commission for Social Development In multiple occasions the Commission emphasized that innovation and technology are a key opportunity to accelerate social development. For example, infrastructure technology has the ability to transform rural areas into dynamic centers for the production and trade of good. Equality so, Information and communications technology (ICTs) have the ability to bridge the digital gap between man and women and between different economic communities. To mention a few, it can serve as learning platforms and technical training, it can boost the development of small businesses, and it can be valuable source of information to improve health condition of individuals and families. A long way is still ahead to transform these infinity possibilities into real access and knowledge to use modern technologies for development.

Dianova at the Commission for Social Development

With a strong mandate to support individual and community development, Dianova International was present at the official meetings, side events and the Civil Society Forum of the Commission for Social Development, helping to strengthen the voice of civil society in these processes. In addition, together with partner organizations member of the NGO Committee on Migration in New York, Dianova contributed with the organization of two side-events during the CSocD56.

The two side events discussed the case of the Rohingya refugees, who are now over 640,000 people who have been forced to flee the Rakhine State in Myanmar mostly into neighboring Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand, in truly appalling conditions. This crisis has been created by the intersection of long-standing ethnic tensions and xenophobia, poverty and violent conflict, and it is further complicated by issues of citizenship, religious division, and security on both sides, escalating the situation into a human tragedy of unprecedented proportions.

With the participation of high level speakers from Embassies, UN agencies, other experts, and refugees themselves, the events brought the opportunity to explore strategies and desirable outcomes for the safe return of the Rohingya to their home land, as well as to address the role of human rights, dignity, and security in resolving this critical situation.