Can Do: Halving Asia's Poverty Is Achievable By 2015
ADB supports the development goals of United Nations, one of which is to halve the proportion of people living on less than US$1 per day. The 'Asia and Pacific Forum on Poverty' was organized by ADB, under its Poverty Reduction Strategy, which commits it to host an international forum on poverty issues every three years. It was attended by government officials, academics, non government organization spokespersons and development agencies. The key consensus points that emerged were:
- Despite setbacks, East Asia approaches the target of lifting people above the poverty line. However, poverty being multidimensional and increase in income being just one facet, other development goals should also follow suit;
- Need to reform international monetary, financial and social support systems exists;
- Decrease in the degree of inequality prevails;
- Efforts from the local level to the national level need to work in concert;
- Need for social protection measures such as flexible labor markets, social insurance and assistance and safety nets in Asian countries exists.
The paper presents comments of the Nobel laureate Robert Mundell, who argued for a common currency and a standardized inflation rate across Asia to reduce exchange rate volatility. Other speakers reported that a rise in economy and trade does not have proportionate benefits across classes, thus social protection measures are necessary.