United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

South Africa

Eradication of poverty came out sharply at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 held
in South Africa. Though the inequalities were emphasized but to date there are no visible
implementations done among the most vulnerable groups who are women, youth and people with
disabilities especially in rural areas. We take note that even the UN agencies do not strongly address
these issues.
The CSD emphasizes the active and coherent participation by the UN agencies and programs at the
highest level however we still fail the majority who are women, youth and people with disabilities.How
do we hope to eradicate poverty especially in the developing countries.
Waste and Chemicals
Today, we talk about waste and chemicals but what we see is this vulnerable group that is mostly
negative affected. The majority of women and youth work on farms using chemicals without protective
clothing and not being told about the negative health impact on them. This is one of the examples.
It is upon us that the waste and chemicals benefit them by creating jobs and also them to be
entrepreneurs that they participate in the economy.
How much are we assisting the vulnerable group and encouraging them to be mining engineers,
scientists, miners and owning companies in the mines or the mines themselves. The little we see, is
when they sell a bit of food, fruits in dishes or drinks. That needs to change as mostly those mines are in
their land but they remain poor and at times illiterate.
Transport becomes a challenge for them to participate in the development of economy especially in the
rural areas. They may have big fields, have good crops, but how do they take it to the market, let alone
to export. They themselves walk long distances at times to the fields and also have to carry their crops
even to their homes. Roads are a dream that will never come through.
No matter how hard our vulnerable can work, as long as we do not address these challenges, the
inequalities will always remain.
Women as custodians of the environment as they understand it better. What are they benefiting from
it? The empowerment, skills development, technology and finance to name a few. When will they reach
them? How do we expect them to fully participate in the economy? Equality will remain a pie in the sky
and poverty eradication will never be achieved with us the vulnerable and developing countries.
I thank you!