CARY, North Carolina — World officials recognize the importance of ending global poverty. This past year many officials have spoken out against corruption, inequality and human rights violations. Many top policy-makers are actively working on measures to end poverty and decrease human suffering.
Here is what a few of them have to say about working to advance the global poor:
World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim
Kim has been extremely vocal in his support of ending global poverty. Kim believes he has a plan for pulling the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population out of poverty by 2030.
Kim has gone on tours around the globe urging countries to adopt his economic strategies. He focuses on “shared prosperity,” which means advancing people to the point where they can actively participate in a global economy.
“In every country in the world, people understand that just foreign assistance is not going to lift them out of poverty. What they really have to do is use foreign assistance, and their government resources, to really make the private sector work. The private sector creates 90 percent of the jobs in the developing world. If we want to see growth, we’ve got to see public and private work together,” says Kim.
Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon
In his October 2013 statement for the International Day for the Eradiation of Poverty, Ki-Moon urged world leaders to keep working to end global poverty.
“We have much work ahead,” says Ki-moon. “While poverty levels have declined significantly, progress has been uneven. Our impressive achievement in cutting poverty by half should not blind us to the fact that more than 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty worldwide. Too many, especially women and girls, continue to be denied access to adequate health care and sanitation, quality education and decent housing. Too many young people lack jobs and the skills that respond to market demands. Rising inequality in many countries, both rich and poor, is fueling exclusion from economic, social and political spheres, and we know that the impacts of climate change and loss of biodiversity hit the poorest the hardest. All of this underpins the need for strong and responsive institutions.”
The Dalai Lama
In his book ‘Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the World’s Religions Can Come Together,’ Dalai Lama XIV says,“ whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or non-believing, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.”
United States President Barack Obama
Obama has made several strides towards ending global poverty. President Obama took a new stance on global aid when he took office, shifting the focus towards long-term development. Obama says, “instead of having a set of policies that are equipping people for the globalization of the economy, we have policies that are accelerating the most destructive trends of the global economy.” Obama has said he believes extreme poverty could be eradicated in as little as two decades.
In his address at Varginha in July 2013, Pope Francis gave a message to those blessed with food security and stable income.
“When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor; we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always ‘add more water to the beans!’ Is it possible to add more water to the beans…Always…And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in material things, but in the heart!” In response to Italy’s immigration concerns, Pope Francis reminded people of the church’s commitment to charity. “Among our tasks as a witness to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor, so that they are not abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers.”
– Stephanie Lamm
Sources: Catholic Confront Global Poverty, People’s World, CBS, Finest Quotes, Think Progress, World Bank, United Nations