Commission for Social Development

NYC MDG'S Seminar 6-2013 (134)NYC MDG'S Seminar 6-2013 (144)As one of the ten functional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) responds to crucial development issues, meeting annually to discuss one of these issues. As a Non-Governmental Organization, ATD Fourth World is an active participant in the NGO Committee on Social Development and continually advocates on issues related to people living poverty at sessions of the CSocD. Not only is CSocD the main forum at the UN for discussions about poverty, decent work, and social inclusion, but it is also agreed at the Commission that it is important for people living in poverty to have a voice, which is why ATD Fourth World sees this as such an important avenue for advocacy.

The Priority Theme for the Commission for 2015-2016 is “Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World.”

At the Civil Society Forum title of 2015 was “Re-Centering Social Development in a Sustainable World.” You can read more about it here.


On February 20th, ATD Fourth World hosted a side event titled: “Addressing Poverty and Shame: Ending Disempowerment.” The event discussed connections between shame and poverty and the ineffectiveness of policies that stigmatize.


The Civil Society Forum on February 10 featured Jose Nuñez, an ATD Fourth World Activist, who spoke on behalf of people living in poverty and homeless shelters in New York City about empowerment and social protection. Jose spoke about what it means to be empowered and how social programs need to change in order to be more empowering. Click here to read his speech.

Jose also participated at an ILO event on February 20th, speaking on the topic of economic growth and decent work, and illustrated how social programs affect people like him on a daily basis.

ATD Fourth World Representative, Fabio Palacio, presented at the High-Level Panel of CSocD on this year’s theme. By emphasizing the marked absence of people living in poverty from the discussion, the presentation laid out ways for stakeholders to cultivate the participation of the most vulnerable individuals and groups. Other key aspects of the presentation were proposals to give more attention to the non-discriminatory delivery of public services and to change measurement strategies to give focus to human rights and reaching the lowest income populations. Additionally, ATD Fourth World urged member states to implement the Guiding principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights when designing the future sustainable development goals. To see the whole presentation, click here and begin at 1:17 and read the UN press release here.

To learn more, read our statements on the Commission for Social Development for 20132014, and 2015.