23 October 2015

The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said that although the World Bank talks a lot about these rights, in reality, its programs and projects do not do much for them.

Alston presented today a report on the subject before the General Assembly, in which he affirmed that the justifications that the financial institution offers are not satisfactory.

He recalled that the Secretary General has expressed that he will work closely with the World Bank to work on the materialization of the new agenda for sustainable development and the financial body has spoken in favor of that alliance, however, the independent expert affirmed that he had many Doubts.

“If the main partner of the UN cannot address human rights issues, if the Bank considers that in what it does it must stay away from basic guarantees, how can it be an effective partner of the UN in the context of the SDGs, where is the importance of human rights clearly recognized? ”asked the rapporteur.

Alston pointed out that the World Bank talks a lot about gender inequality and describes women as a vulnerable group, however in its projects it does not reflect these considerations and gender is routinely absent from its evaluations and monitoring.

Regarding the complexities of extreme poverty, Alston said that when it comes to it, it usually refers to material deprivation.

“The poor accept donations of water and food, but we ignore how they live and forget that they are not in a position to exercise their civil and political rights,” he stressed.

The rapporteur considered that extreme poverty implies the lack of all rights, not only the right to food, and said that this message should reach the World Bank.

He added that the objectives of his projects are established on the basis of “how can we help the poor”, and not on the basis of “how we can help them to help themselves to get out of poverty”.

“That empowering approach is imperative,” concluded Alston.

23 October 2015

The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said that although the World Bank talks a lot about these rights, in reality, its programs and projects do not do much for them.

Alston presented today a report on the subject before the General Assembly, in which he affirmed that the justifications that the financial institution offers are not satisfactory.

He recalled that the Secretary General has expressed that he will work closely with the World Bank to work on the materialization of the new agenda for sustainable development and the financial body has spoken in favor of that alliance, however, the independent expert affirmed that he had many Doubts.

“If the main partner of the UN cannot address human rights issues, if the Bank considers that in what it does it must stay away from basic guarantees, how can it be an effective partner of the UN in the context of the SDGs, where is the importance of human rights clearly recognized? ”asked the rapporteur.

Alston pointed out that the World Bank talks a lot about gender inequality and describes women as a vulnerable group, however in its projects it does not reflect these considerations and gender is routinely absent from its evaluations and monitoring.

Regarding the complexities of extreme poverty, Alston said that when it comes to it, it usually refers to material deprivation.

“The poor accept donations of water and food, but we ignore how they live and forget that they are not in a position to exercise their civil and political rights,” he stressed.

The rapporteur considered that extreme poverty implies the lack of all rights, not only the right to food, and said that this message should reach the World Bank.

He added that the objectives of his projects are established on the basis of “how can we help the poor”, and not on the basis of “how we can help them to help themselves to get out of poverty”.

“That empowering approach is imperative,” concluded Alston.