As part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Summit September 24-27, 2015, Heads of State and Ministers joined our partner, Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) for a High-Level Side Event stressing the importance of a multidimensional approach to measuring and eradicating poverty at national and global levels.
The discussion, a celebration of the sea change underway with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to recognize ‘eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions’ as ‘the greatest global challenge’, included a call from the UN Secretary General “to ensure lives of dignity for all”.
As Visiting Scholar at OPHI (2013-2014) and now Policy Advisor, Kim Samuel focused her work and efforts with OPHI on social connectedness as a missing dimension of multidimensional poverty. The paper, Samuel et al., (2014) Social Isolation and its Relationship to Multidimensional Poverty calls out social isolation and the need for greater understanding and action to foster social connectedness.
During the High-Level Side Event, the engaging discussion included an intervention by Prime Minister Anthony of St. Lucia who referenced the role of artists like Bob Marley giving voice to the hidden, forgotten, and isolated people. Such suffering is directly connected to many deep social and economic challenges and to environmental degradation.
Such discussions and the opportunity to give voice to not only the multi-dimensions of poverty but also the importance of better understanding social isolation, will lead to important breakthroughs locally, nationally and globally towards the achievement of the SDGs. We encourage everyone to view this discussion and consider actions at all levels that build from understanding of social isolation to building social connectedness. This is an exciting and incredibly important time for making real gains on what really matters to all peoples and the planet.
To learn more on the outcomes from Sunday’s High-Level Side Event, Anchoring a Global Multidimensional Poverty Index within the SDGs the video is available here and the full agenda, here. A summary of the session is also available on the OPHI website.