Norway finds the report of the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepulveda, as always, highly useful, not least because she so clearly stresses that where there is sufficient political will, meaningful progress in addressing poverty and fulfilling human rights can be made in a short period of time.
We agree that states should review the progress made in the promotion of human rights in their country trough periodic national consultations with the active participation of national human rights institutions, civil society, UN agencies and others.
While different development institutions and partners may put similar weight on the goal of reducing extreme poverty, the views on how much reliance should be put on human rights and legal standards, differs. We could all agree that human rights can play an important role in fighting poverty. Poverty reduction is, however, a complex matter and poverty reduction must be addressed at national level based on national solutions.
Norway also supports the view that social protection programmes, not least cash transfer schemes deserves higher priority in many countries, given the extensive positive experiences with such programs. We need to add that this does not necessarily mean that such schemes always give the greatest amount of poverty reduction per dollar in all countries, since the root cause of extreme poverty is complex.
It should be added that for countries with low national income per capita, the scope for redistribution trough direct measures like tax and cash transfer is of course limited. In countries with the lowest income per capita, it may be advisable to make capacity building a priority and limit the use of social protection for the most vulnerable groups. From this comment, it is a question whether the report, in its country level analysis, may be bit biased in advocating extended use of cash transfers.
We would appreciate the view of the special rapporteur in this regard.
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