Social and Environmental Justice For All
“Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”
This is the United Nations theme for October 17, 2020, the World Day for Overcoming Poverty. Below is part of the Letter to Friends Around the World published for October 17, 2020 by the Forum on Extreme Poverty.
In 2020 a collective awareness is growing: we share the Earth and we all have to answer for the environmental impact of our actions.
We also know that we all have a responsibility for enabling each person to live in dignity and to take part in making this happen.
October 17 is therefore an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all.
Our societies treat nature the same way they treat their poorest members.
People in poverty have been exploited for generations. Their strength is used and when it’s no longer of any use, it’s thrown on the scrap heap. In the same way, our natural resources are looted and polluted without anyone taking responsibility for their renewal. The way our societies treat people in extreme poverty is even more pernicious than the way nature is treated. Indeed, no-one can blame nature for its deterioration, whereas all too often people in poverty are accused of not wanting to get out of it.
This fact gives us some perspective on the message of October 17 and its call to take action to transform our societies with, and starting from, the poorest people. Today it is critical that we take into account all the connections between social, economic and environmental justice to make this change happen.