Thank you Mr. Chairman,
The eradication of poverty is an imperative of international development. The issue remains at the top of Israel’s international agenda. In recent years, Israel has been at the forefront of addressing the spread of poverty and food insecurity around the world.
Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation — MASHAV – places great emphasis on the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to cut poverty and hunger in half by the year 2015.
The international community must take a comprehensive approach in pursuing this effort. It will be impossible to address issues such as food security without paying proper attention to health care, community building and education. Meaningful results can only be achieved through a sustainable development program that addresses all of these inter-linked challenges.
Linking sustainable agriculture to poverty eradication is crucial for ensuring food security and enhancing the livelihoods of the rural poor. It also remains an important element of restoring, safeguarding and developing natural capital. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poorest still live in rural areas and remain dependent on agriculture for their nutrition and livelihood.
There is also growing need to address the effects of climate change, which could exacerbate poor farming conditions and have devastating effects on food security and national development efforts. Promoting more effective and sustainable agricultural practices among poor farmers has become more urgent than ever before.
Israel regards the empowerment of women and youth as another crucial part of any strategy to tackle poverty. Nearly half of the world’s population is under the age of 25, 90% of whom live in developing countries. All too often, the cycle of poverty is perpetuated because of inadequate education and insufficient life and job skills. Entrepreneurial training designed specifically for women and youth is a central part of MASHAV’s capacity building programs, providing a highly effective way to address poverty and hunger.
70% of all those suffering from poverty around the world are women. In the least developed countries, women over the age of 15 are two times more likely than men to be illiterate. In many countries, great productivity is lost every year due to gender inequality. The elimination of this gender disparity must be an integral part of any strategy for development.
Israel is proud to house the Golda Meir International Training Center, one of the world’s first development training centers dedicated specifically to the empowerment of women. The Center seeks to enable women to participate more fully in the development processes of their communities and countries. It focuses on three main areas: local government and community development; microenterprise management and entrepreneurial training; and early childhood education.
The Carmel Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, the Center joined with UNESCO to host the Biennial Women Leader’s Conference in May 2011, which was attended by Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, and Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO. The conference was entitled “Women: Education, Training, Science and Technology” – and highlighted the integral relationship between development and the scientific and technical training of high-school girls.
Israel remains committed to sharing its expertise and experience with partner organizations and countries to advance development, decrease poverty, and create more sustainable communities worldwide. We look forward to working with all of you to ensure that the work of the Second Committee continues to further these objectives.