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Statement by Commissioner Piebalgs ahead of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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3738662-october-17--international-day-for-the-eradication-of-poverty"On the eve of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October), my thoughts are with the 1.2 billion people still living in extreme poverty. Behind this abstract figure lie the grim realities of individual lives: pregnant women who cannot get life-saving health care, children who cannot go to school, and families who leave for work not knowing if there will be enough food on the dinner table that night.

"Overcoming poverty is a key objective of EU development policy and remarkable progress has been achieved. The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing extreme poverty by half has already been achieved, ahead of the 2015 deadline. The EU is making an important contribution to this progress - over 46 million people have been assisted through social transfers for food security over the last decade and almost eight million people have received some education and training to allow them to make a living.

"Social protection is a key for poverty eradication, protecting vulnerable groups such as children, the unemployed or old people, increasing equity and supporting economic growth. But only 20% of people in the world have access to it. Today, the European Commission is launching SOCIEUX (Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation), a facility that will help developing countries better design and manage their social protection systems and will provide partner countries with advice and expertise support, guide them in preparing legislation and policy and other activities, such as training.

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"For the first time in history, the world today has the resources and technology to eradicate extreme poverty within one generation. Failure is not an option.

"We are currently discussing a global agenda after 2015 and the aim should be to deliver a worthy successor to the MDGs, which will guide us towards a decent, and poverty free, life for all by 2030."

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Kazakh president sets out five priorities for #Kazakhstan’s 'Third Stage of Modernization' 

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In his annual address to the nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernization”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.

The five priorities are: Acceleration of technological modernization of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.

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President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.”

He added: “This modernization is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”

The Head of State also instructed the Government to developa package of measures for the technological re-equipment of basic industries by 2025.

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The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plansto increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.