CROP Annual Report 2013

CROP Annual Report 2013

CROP Annual Report 2013

For CROP, 2013 was marked by the 20th anniversary of the secretariat's establishment. This happened in a year where the discussion on global poverty has been increasing in intensity due to the upcoming end of term of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). CROP has worked to mobilize critical research towards a new development agenda aiming to eradicate and prevent poverty.

Many voices were heard in the international debate. Most salient were perhaps those of the United Nations agencies working on poverty and development, agencies that are required to show results in the fight against poverty. Despite the triumph exhibited in the preface of the 2013 report on the MDGs, more than 1.2 billion people are still suffering extreme poverty and hunger. This crude reality is in contrast to the optimistic assessment made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, when he affirmed that the MDGs “have been the most successful global anti-poverty push in history" and “significant and substantial progress has been made in meeting many of the targets – including halving the number of people living in extreme poverty."

During 2013, CROP has on many opportunities reacted to this “official discourse" showing that the assessments made by those in high positions are often in sharp contrast to the reality of a world marked by unacceptable levels of poverty in a context of increasing inequality (see CROP's Poverty Brief Series). This calls into question the capability of our political systems in dealing with the most pressing problems that affect our contemporary societies. This reality demands urgent responses from those with the power to end the suffering, as well as from the scientific community.

2013 was also the year when the High-Level Panel Report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was officially released. A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development was presented as a step toward shaping the next development agenda, as it expressed the vision and the responsibility of world leaders “to end extreme poverty in all its forms in the context of sustainable development" by 2030. The notion of eradication of poverty is back in the official international discourse, a fact that is encouraging for those of us who have been pursuing this moving target for a long, long time.

The Scientific Committee meeting and the activities related to the celebration of the 20th anniversary, along with the rest of the activities reported here, show the vital energy that is moving the wheels of our programme to fulfil its mission. As will be shown, the network continued to expand during the past year. At the same time, relationships with our sponsor institutions (the University of Bergen, UiB, and the International Social Science Council, ISSC) have intensified due to new agreements being put in place, as well as a joint decision to give priority to research and dissemination focused on poverty and development. This encouraged the Scientific Committee and the secretariat to concentrate CROP's efforts on a selected number of strategic themes and activities. These have a potential to make a substantial contribution to the international debate, which will increasingly concentrate on poverty due to the expiration of the MDGs and their replacement by a new development agenda. We will see the results of this effort in the coming years.


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