24 April 2020

Ending Poverty Critical for Ensuring Social Justice

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said, “Ending poverty is not a matter of charity, but a question of justice.” In observance of the World Day of Social Justice Kristu Jayanti College, a UNAI member institution in India serving as the UNAI SDG Hub for Goal 1 – No Poverty, through its Department of Social Work and in association with civil society partners like World Vision India, organized a national colloquium on Ending Poverty: A Pathway to Social Justice.

Local authorities and more than 200 scholars as well social workers and students discussed what countries needed to do in order to meet the goals contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the design, development and further implementation of rigorous measures to combat poverty and the need to go beyond income poverty measures in the fight for economic inclusion.

According to the 2019 United Nations Report on the Sustainable Development Goals, “the decline of extreme poverty continues, but the pace has slowed, and the world is not on track to achieving the target of ending poverty by 2030.” Participants discussed the role of academia in developing policies that can help re-focus efforts on and accelerate the eradication of poverty.

Rev. Fr. Josekutty PD, Principal of Kristu Jayanti College, warned that public policies and the measures derived from them need to be strengthened while adopting holistic approaches to target the needs of the most vulnerable.

The discussions that took place during the colloquium also outlined, as pointed out by Dr. Jonas Richard, the convener of the activity, specific parameters that could be used in rural and urban areas, given the disparities between the two. The importance of agriculture to tackle hunger and the impact of natural disasters and lack of resilience towards them, including mitigation efforts, were also highlighted.

“Without any question, this activity has fostered a pro-poor approach in our hearts while also enlightening us in regard to our responsibilities in tackling economic vulnerabilities. We all must do our part. And certainly, it was also astonishing to meet and hear from the survivors of poverty,” said Anoop Kurian, a first-year student that participated in the discussion.

To learn more about the recent activities conducted by the UNAI SDG Hub for Goal 1 click here.