JIS News

Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Science and Technology, Dr. Arnoldo Ventura has said that Science and Technology was the most powerful of the tools needed to put individuals in a position to provide the means of helping themselves to live a decent quality of life.
He explained that eradicating poverty meant more than simply rescuing many from pain and squalor and that another way to focus science on the greatest problem of this era, had to be found.
“Science must be seen as a public good of survival value. The participation and ultimate benefit of the poor in this endeavour, must be considered a fundamental human right,” he said.
Dr. Ventura was speaking recently at a poverty eradication consultation, which was part of activities organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris, France, to mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
He argued that science and technology was vitally important to socio-economic development. “But is this in itself enough to tackle poverty?” he asked, noting that socio-economic development in rich countries, such as the United States, had shown that science and technology by itself, along with economic growth, was not enough.
Dr. Ventura pointed out that neo-classical trading patterns and the forces of globalisation and competition as well as the industrial property system, have all tended to contribute, rather than to solving poverty.
“Poverty reduction strategies must move beyond these to empower the poor with self-propelling knowledge. The experience of countries that have escaped poverty over the recent past, has shown that they all have invested directly in the poor themselves, as they improve their education, information, living conditions, productivity and their markets,” he explained.
Dr. Ventura further submitted that families and communities had to be targeted to confront the root causes of poverty at the individual and family levels in different cultural and environmental settings, so that at the end, poverty would be reduced.
“For the poor to participate in their own redemption, they must have a say in the management of their country’s resources. Participatory democracy then becomes an important factor. The poor’s human rights must be protected,” he added.

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