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Policy advocacy and partnerships for children's rights

UNICEF gathers world experts to discuss poverty and children

© UNICEF New York/2005
Economic experts gather in New York to discuss children and poverty

NEW YORK, 17 February 2005 - Poverty is one of the biggest threats to children across the globe. UNICEF brought together today some of the world’s most renowned economists to discuss how policies can be developed to address the effects of poverty on children.

In developing countries more than half of all children are living without the basic goods and services they need to survive. And in 17 out of 24 industrialised countries during the last decade, the number of children living in poverty has risen.

Panellists at the conference included the Nobel Prize winner Professor Joseph Stiglitz; Professor Kaushik Basu, a leading scholar on child labour at Cornell University; Professor Edmund Valpy FitzGerald, an expert in finance and economics at University of Oxford; Rebecca Grynspan-Mayufis, Director of ECLAC sub-regional headquarters for Mexico and Central America; and Professor Sanjay Reddy, an expert on inequality and poverty reduction at Princeton University.

At UNICEF’s New York Headquarters today, they considered a number of key questions around the theme that children are the missing link between poverty and development.

“Children are the object of policy and those investments determine the nature of future society,” said Professor Stiglitz. “Poverty affects the function of society for decades to come.”

Professor Reddy told the conference that investment in children was essential to development. “It’s an end in itself, not just a means to an end,” he said.

And UNICEF’s Executive Director Carol Bellamy warned that without a concerted effort to safeguard the interests of children, the Millenium Development Goals to reduce poverty would not be met.

A report of the debate’s main findings will be compiled and used for further discussion.

Other resources

The following is a list of the participants. Click on a name to read their biography (PDF):

Kaushik Basu
Carol Bellamy
E. Valpy K. FitzGerald
Elizabeth D. Gibbons
Rebecca Grynspan-Mayufis
Richard Jolly
Sanjay Reddy
Joseph E. Stiglitz

Click here to read the Poverty fact sheet (PDF).

Click here to read The State of the World's Children 2005.

Press release: The missing link between poverty and development




17 February 2005 – Report from conference on children and poverty

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Professor Kaushik Basu
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Professor Edmund Valpy FitzGerald
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