Poverty is a globally shared issue and a collective concern of all countries that needs to be addressed in a common effort. Poverty is defined as the incapability to meet the human requirements, or deprivation of the least means of living to achieve decent standards of a respectful life. Its devastating impact hits all corner of societies. Poverty is accompanied by adverse economic effects such as idle and inoperative economic potentials, lack of sufficient finance for investment, shortage of labour demand, low wages and negative growth rate. Poverty is one of the features of social vulnerabilities. Corruption is born by poverty and is reproduced by various mechanisms; so it causes decline of moral values. By exacerbating class division, poverty increases social tensions and endangers political stability. Societies are prone to almost insurmountable poverty traps in the shadow of communication between negative and inclusive impacts of poverty.
Poverty is not an inherent phenomenon; it is the effect of unsound policies and imposed inequalities.
Poverty is created and exacerbated due to lasting colonization, global militarism, emergence of poor world versus rich world and the inequality within societies that I named it dual poverty; therefore, we expect ILO not to show indifference towards the global inequality.
The fight against hunger, illiteracy and poverty are the fundamental principles of ILO to realize minimum social justice. The severity of global poverty has turned it to an ethical concern for all.
despite national and international policymaking, poverty alleviation is facing many hurdles. The countries need to integrate theoretical and practical studies, and mobilize international potentials to fill the gap of theory and practice.
There are much rhetoric about widespread poverty and inability to address it, but not much is said about militarism and production and reproduction of chronic poverty. Militarism is widely believed to be an ideology. Militarism is characterized by the tendency to settle conflicts through military solutions rather than peaceful solutions. Militarism, especially for countries with poor level of economic development, leads to national and regional political instability and more tightening the grip of poverty trap.
Many countries, in the Middle East and north of Africa, are affected by internal unrest and violence. The innocent people in these countries are victims of militarism and children are the ones who are hit hardest by the situation. It is discouraging that based on the report of the Director-General on the Palestine occupied territories, the workers situation and that of other people in the region is worsening. Therefore, mechanisms must be adopted and designed for non-interference and domination as well as increasing the countries level of trust as part of a comprehensive global solution to tackle poverty.
Let me make some remarks on the Iranian Government’s plan to fight against poverty that embraces suitable patterns for developing countries.
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasized “a society empowered by standard establishments of health, welfare, food security, social security, equal opportunities, equitable distribution of income, favorable environment and strong family institution away from poverty, corruption and discrimination”.
We have launched the empowerment policy as opposed to compensation or charity policy for poverty alleviation, whereby more than 40 million Iranian nationals in rural areas and urban workers in the informal sector benefited from healthcare services, and 11 million more at the risk of extreme poverty came under various supports, and affordable social security schemes were provided for rural residents and low income groups with the collaboration of Government.
The child laborers and dropouts are now back to school under support of a comprehensive plan. Today, supportive housing program for persons with disabilities is on the Government’s mandate and we have already started transferring thousands of residential units to the target users.
As regards employment, we have poverty-oriented inclusive employment program in the MoCLSW agenda rather than traditional growth programs with no employment generation in practice.
To conclude, I am honored to extend my heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the start of the holy month of Ramadan to the delegates of Muslim countries. It is one of the beauties of Islam that Ramadan is so blessed and the
Almighty God calls upon believers to think about the poor in this moth and feel their experience. Muslims pray every night of Ramadan: “O Lord! Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and pay off the debt of the debtors.” Ramadan is the best opportunity to help the poor. I hope all Muslim communities experience the collective good of fight against poverty during this sacred month.