Date of workshop: 8th September, 2005

United Nations organised the 58th DPI/NGO conference (7-9th September, 2005) in New York focusing on the theme "Our Challenge: Voices for Peace, Partnerships and Renewal.” In this occasion, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) and International Volunteerism Organisation for Women (VIDES International) jointly organised "Midday NGO Interactive Workshop" on 8th September, 2005 in the Conference Room E of the United Nations Building, New York.  

The theme of the workshop was set as "Challenges and Opportunities in Combating Poverty." The workshop focused on the dual aspects (challenges and opportunities) of two cross cutting issues: education for rural people and the role of power and politics in combating poverty. 

David Acker, Assistant Dean of Iowa State University, moderated the workshop. Florence Chenoweth, Director New York Liaison Office, FAO presented the impact of their work on education and poverty, especially girls ‘education. Vera Camerotti, Project Manager at VIDES International in Sao Paulo, Brazil presented the work of youth organisations in creating awareness through education in Sao Paulo Brazil. Likewise, Joe Washington, Professor Centro Interdipartmentale Scinze per la Pace, University of Pisa Italy made a presentation on the linkages between education and poverty. 

Dr. Arjun Karki, Regional Coordinator-SAAPE/President-Rural Reconstruction Nepal/President-NGO Federation of Nepal emphasised the role of power and politics in combating poverty in South Asia region and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). He emphasized that poverty is a political issue and it needs a political solution. Often, poverty is taken as a technical issue and therefore technical solutions are devised which further exacerbate the problem of poverty through out the developing countries. Poverty is the serious violation of human rights. To overcome the problem of poverty, democratic governance needs to be established in the LDCs. Similarly, Dr. Netra Prasad Timsina, central member of National Alliance for Human Rights and Social Justice-Nepal and Coordinator of ForestAction-Nepal, presented the role of power and politics in addressing the issues of poverty. He emphasised that people's access to and control over natural resources is an urgent need if the MDGs are to be achieved. Equal distribution of resources is a political issue and the role of power and politics remains important in this regard.

About 70 participants from different international organisations including the United Nations attended the workshop. Majority of the participants actively engaged and provided useful insights during interaction.