The Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted a Workshop on the Marshall Plan for Poverty Alleviation and on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on Monday 28th of October 2015, at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, in Bell Village. The Workshop was organized in the context of the elaboration of a medium to long term Marshall Plan to combat poverty and social exclusion in Mauritius and Rodrigues. The platform also served as an opportunity to sensitise participants on the new SDGs agenda.
Several representatives of Public Institutions, NGOs and representative from the Private sector were also present during the event. The aim was to exchange ideas that are action-oriented, and identify concrete proposals on the eradication of poverty as articulated by (SDG 1) adopted by the United Nations, that is, 'End Poverty in all its Forms Everywhere'.
The workshop also coincided with similar events organised worldwide by the UN and the UNDP in more than 100 countries so as to shed light on the new agenda for 2030, the 17 SDGs adopted by the United Nations.
A presentation by a UNDP expert focused on the SDGs and the fight against poverty. Five working groups addressed the following thematic areas: housing and basic services; education and employment; food security and living standards; 'parrainage' and inclusive structure; and gender/feminisation of poverty.
In his opening address, the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Hon. Prithvirajsing Roopun, dwelt on Government's strong commitment and determination to promote social justice, eliminate poverty and giving equal chances to people of different levels of social development.
According to him, one of the priorities reiterated is to combat poverty and inequality for a fairer Mauritius and also to bring the country towards a new level of economic development which has been termed as second economic miracle. It is thus imperative that we look essentially at the most needy, he pointed out, while stating that the philosophy is to invest in the future and in the youth of tomorrow for sustainable development.
For his part, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr Emmanuel Bor, highlighted the need for action, responsibility and commitment. The MDGs have allowed the attainment of enormous developmental progress, including enabling more than half of the people across the globe to come out of extreme poverty during this short period of 25 years, but the job is unfinished, said Mr Bor. 'We have to take the new 2030 agenda as it is, that is, a call for action. We have to identify the solutions that will enable us to not only reduce poverty but to eradicate it completely. We are really the first generation that can eradicate poverty and the Marshall Plan will exactly do that by identifying the actions necessary to eradicate poverty in Mauritius', he added.