ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND GROWTH: UN

September 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Development, Economics, Eurozone, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Third World, World-system | Leave a comment

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ECONOMIC RECOVERY STRATEGIES MUST

PRIORITIZE JOB CREATION SAYS UN LABOUR AGENCY

New York Sep 3 2010

ECONOMIC RECOVERY STRATEGIES MUST PRIORITIZE JOB

CREATION SAYS UN LABOUR AGENCY

UNNews UNNews@un.org

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

Although the global economy is on the cusp of a fragile recovery, governments must take concerted action to create jobs to spur growth and development, according to the heads of the United Nations International Labour Organization (http://www.ilo.org/global/About_the_ILO/Media_and_public_information/Press_releases/lang–en/WCMS_144399/index.htm ILO) and the International Monetary Fund (http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm IMF).

A job-centred growth strategy should be our number one priority, said ILO Director General Juan Somavia, ahead of a high-level conference on 13 September in Oslo. Otherwise, the economic recovery may take years to reach those who need it most, or it may not reach them at all.

The joint ILO-IMF summit, hosted by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, will explore ways to forge a sustainable, job-rich economic recovery.

Two years after the world was plunged into a recession, unemployment remains at record highs in many countries, with the ILO estimating that 30 million more people are out of work today than in 2007. There is little indication that unemployment rates will fall in the near future.

The ILO and IMF are coming together in a bid to stimulate discussion of global cooperation and policy innovations to promote job growth and social cohesion.

The Great Recession has created a painful legacy of unemployment and this devastation threatens the livelihood, security and dignity of millions of people across the world, said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The international community must rise to meet this challenge, he continued. Now is the time for our collective action.

The two organizations have issued a http://www.osloconference2010.org/discussionpaper.pdf background paper ahead of the gathering in the Norwegian capital, which is expected to be attended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Prime Minister George Papandreous of Greece and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, among others.

The scars of this distress in labour markets could last for a very long time in the case of young workers unable to get their first job, a lifetime, the document cautions. Political, community, business and labour leaders all over the world are asking for answers to the threat of a slow jobless recovery. And they want to know that recovery can transition into strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

Sep 3 2010

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN STUDY EMPHASIZES ECONOMIC GROWTH

AS A POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY

New York

Sep 3 2010

Fri 3 Sep 2010

UNNews UNNews@un.org

UN STUDY EMPHASIZES ECONOMIC GROWTH AS A POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY

Current poverty reduction approaches that separate poverty from the broader process of economic growth and development are unlikely to succeed and could leave about 1 billion people destitute by 2015, according to a new United Nations http://www.unrisd.org/unrisd/website/newsview.nsf/(httpNews)/554017D0F66983AEC125779200442C36?OpenDocument report released today.

The report by the UN Research Institute for Social Development (http://www.unrisd.org/ UNRISD) explores the causes, dynamics and persistence of poverty, as well as what works and what does not in international policy and practice.

The study, released as governments and international institutions focus on cutting poverty in half to meet the target in the Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ MDGs) by 2015, reveals the multiple and complex processes involved in sustainable poverty reduction and lays out a range of policies and institutional measures that countries can adopt to succeed.

The eight MDGs provide concrete benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty. They include goals and targets on income poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation.

The UNRISD report argues that while simple prescriptions may attract government support and funding from donors, they are unlikely to create conditions in which poor people can lift themselves out of poverty.

According to the report, evidence has shown that poverty is reduced when economic and social policies, institutions and political arrangements are mutually supportive. The pursuit of policies in one social development domain while neglecting others is likely to undermine efforts to combat poverty and inequality.

Yusuf Bangura, UNRISD Research Coordinator and lead author of the report, attributed failure to the tendency to neglect the root causes of poverty.

Current approaches to poverty tend to focus on things poor people lack rather than why they lack them. But when a large proportion of a country’s population is poor, it doesn’t make sense to detach poverty from the dynamics of economic growth and development, Mr. Bangura said.

For example, in many countries income and wealth inequality have increased and inequalities based on gender and ethnicity persist. High levels of inequality are often found in the poorest countries, which means that poverty and inequality must be considered as part of the same problem.

But apart from a commitment to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education, current approaches to poverty reduction virtually ignore inequality. They shy away from confronting inequality head on through redistributive policies, for example, he added.

The report draws lessons from countries that have successfully and sustainably improved the well-being of the majority of their populations. In those cases, economic, social and political transformations, not poverty reduction per se, were central public policy objectives.

According to the report, the following elements are crucial to sustainable and inclusive development:

Economic transformation, involving not only growth but also changes in the structure of the agricultural, industrial and service sectors that generate and sustain jobs that are adequately remunerated and accessible to all, regardless of income or class status, gender, ethnicity or location.

Social transformation, accomplished through comprehensive social protection and services that are grounded in universal rights and supportive of social cohesion and democratic politics.

Political transformation, including the protection of civic rights, activism and political arrangements that ensure states are responsive to citizens� needs and that the poor have influence in how policies are made.

The report argues that reducing poverty takes more than having employment-centered growth strategies, or pursuing universal social policies, or getting the politics correct. To deliver maximum impact all three must work together, the report stresses.

In calls upon governments and international institutions to recognize how institutions and policies are linked across economic, social and political spheres, and act on the knowledge when designing and implementing poverty reduction strategies.

The report is the result of global research involving 130 scholars and drawing on in-depth case studies, country overviews, thematic background papers, UNRISD work on social policy, as wells as gender, governance and corporate social responsibility.

Sep 3 2010

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

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