The High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor which includes Sri Lanka 's Member of Parliament Milinda Moragoda will hold its first full meeting in New York from January 19 to 21.
Its members include Goldon Brown Chancellor of the UK ; Ferando Cardoso, former president of Brazil ; Benjamin Mkapa; president of Tanzania ,Ernesto Zedillo: former president of Mexico ,Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard University.
The High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor—a new, independent, global initiative—sets out to explore how nations can reduce poverty through reforms that expand access to legal protection and opportunities for all. The Commission’s unique mission is built on the conviction that poverty can only be eradicated if governments give all citizens, especially the poor, a legitimate stake in the economy by extending the rule of law, making access to users’ and property rights and other legal protections not the privilege of the few but the right of all citizens.
The Commission, which will complete its work by late 2007, is co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto . Membership is comprised of eminent policymakers and practioners from throughout the world, who reflect a broad diversity of perspectives and experiences. Among the Commission’s members are former heads of state and senior policy makers with proven track records in executing challenging policy initiatives and reform programs in their countries. The group is expected to meet four times during its two and a half year work schedule.
The work of the Commission will contribute significantly to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) both at the global and country levels, including the pledge by all UN members to cut extreme poverty worldwide by half by the year 2015.
Toward that end, the Commission plans to:
Generate political support for broad reforms that will ensure the legal inclusion and empowerment for the poor;
Explore ways for the poor to secure broader access to legal, fungible property rights for their assets, thereby improving their ability to generate 'bottom-up” economic and social rewards, and poverty reduction;
Examine ways to provide broad access to legal systems and formal structures that can best promote economic growth by helping the poor to increase productivity, limit risks, protect economic achievements, and leverage property to access credit and capital;
Identify ways for the Commission’s work to support, and bridge any gaps with, other development approaches, including conflict prevention, gender equity, good governance, policies of inclusion, administration of justice, legal enforcement, capital formation, provision of services, access to credit, sustainable environmental management, and investment in public infrastructure;
Develop an inventory of experiences to date of reforms to promote asset security, based on the work of governments, civil society, international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector throughout the world; and Produce and disseminate a comprehensive set of practical, adaptable tools that will guide policymakers’ reform efforts at the country level.
The Commission was launched in September 2005 by a group of developing and industrialized countries. These include Canada , Denmark , Egypt , Finland , Guatemala , Iceland , India , Norway , Sweden , South Africa , Tanzania and the United Kingdom.