Extreme Poverty and World Governance Extreme Poverty and World governance
Details of the Proposal

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The proposals outlined in this Paper have twin aims. On the one hand, to place the eradication of extreme poverty at the heart of the political goals pursued by a renewed world governance. On the other hand, to recognize the participation of the poorest members of humanity in elaborating new principles or shaping future world governance as an essential condition in the success of the enterprise.


The Paper is based primarily on Xavier Godinot’s observations and proposals in his book Eradiquer la misère, démocratie, mondialisation et droits de l’homme (Eradicating Extreme Poverty: Democracy, Globalization and Human Rights). The book opens with monographs that trace the lives of four people living in four different continents and dealing with situations of extreme poverty. In the second part, the author examines the lessons to be learned from the people’s experiences and accounts in order to set out recommendations key to the respect of human rights for all, including the most fragile members of humanity, and to ensuring that the different stakeholders in our world assume their responsibilities by putting the priority on laying the foundations of harmonious coexistence.


After an initial phrase identifying the characteristics of extreme poverty and the way in which it violates the whole range of human rights, the Paper will attempt to provide an overview by describing the difficulties encountered by the bottom poor in a globalized world that has not yet found a way to ensure that all human beings can live with dignity. The final section will be given over to concrete proposals for bringing the bottom poor out of destitution and ensuring that the inestimable value of their experience is recognized and incorporated into the goals and decision-making processes necessary to implementing a world governance that seeks to construct a more human world.





Proposals and abstracts

Table of Contents


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Observation: Extreme Poverty, History and Definitions
    • 21 Extreme poverty: an age-old story
    • 22 World governance centred on eradicating extreme poverty?
    • 23 What is extreme poverty?
    • 24 How extreme poverty is a human rights violation
  • 3 World Governance and Extreme Poverty: Overview
    • 31 Fundamental bonds and fundamental rights
    • 311 - The importance of family and community membership
    • 312 - The daily fight for survival
    • 313 - The difficult relationship between community education and school education
    • 314 - The difficulty of representing the interests of very disadvantaged populations
    • 315 - Inequitable international relations and fragile democracies
  • 32 Globalization opportunities and threats regarding fairer redistribution and implementation of human rights for all

    • 321 - Confrontation between two approaches: economic liberalism and human rights
    • 322 - Dramatic rise in inequalities
    • 323 - Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): strengths and weakness
    • 324 - The contested yardstick of the “universal” poor person living on under a dollar day
    • 325 - Too poor to figure in poverty statistics
    • 326 - Inadequate approaches to finding solutions
  • 4 Proposals: Extreme Poverty Eradication as a Transformative Initiative

    • 41 The shock of encountering extreme poverty: Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz, Amartya Sen, Joseph Wresinski.
    • 42 Supporting processes for resisting extreme poverty
      • 421 - Strengthening family and community bonds
      • 422 - Access to rights and strengthening fundamental bonds go hand in hand
        • 4221 - Registration at birth
        • 4222 - Access to an income, employment, housing and social welfare
        • 4223 - International solidarity
        • 4224 - Striking a balance between community education and school education
      • 423 - Giving voice to disadvantaged populations and encouraging their participation.
    • 43 Ideas for actions to fight poverty
      • 431 - Rethinking the role of social movement stakeholders as a tool for social change
        • 4311 - Joseph Wresinski’s innovations: ATD Fourth World
    • 432 - Pilot projects for providing access to fundamental rights
    • 433 - What action is needed at the political level?
    • 434 - Personal transformation as a springboard for social change
    • 435 - Giving the indivisibility of human rights priority over economic growth.
    • 436 - Defining a development model combing economic development, environmental improvement and social cohesion
  • 5 Conclusion: Placing the Eradication of Extreme Poverty at the Heart of World Governance



31 Fundamental bonds and fundamental rights

311 - The importance of family and community membership

312 - The daily fight for survival

313 - The difficult relationship between community education and school education