The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the 1995 World Summit for Social Development emphasized the eradication of poverty as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative. In 2000, at the 24th Special Session of the General Assembly, Member States called for placing poverty eradication at the centre of economic and social development and for reducing by half the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

This Commitment was further embodied in the Millennium Declaration, which resolves to halve, by that same year, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and the proportion of those suffering from hunger. The Declaration adopted in 2005 at the 43rd session of the Commission for Social Development, on the 10th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development, called for the restoration of the people-centred approach to development envisioned in the Copenhagen Declaration and for the adoption of policies that link eradicating poverty to fostering social integration and promoting employment strategies.

More than that, the Declaration recognized the mutually reinforcing relationship between implementing the Copenhagen commitments and attaining the MDGs; hence its call to inject the issues of employment and social integration into the MDGs, in order to broaden the concept of, and in fact to achieve, poverty eradication.

The ten-year review of the Social Summit showed wide consensus that the fight against poverty requires greater coordinated global and national action, and that formulating effective poverty eradication strategies will require recognizing and understanding poverty’s root and structural causes.

Member States called for closer working relationships among the UN agencies, Funds and Programmes to adequately address the root causes of poverty and their relationship to employment and social integration. They also called for the integration of macroeconomic and financial policy issues with the realization of the broader social development goals.