HLPF2016 Day 1 - 11 July 2016

On Monday 11 July 2016, ITUC Deputy General Secretary Wellington Chibebe participated as discussant in the HLPF2016 panel on "Ensuring that no one is left behind - Fostering economic growth, prosperity, and sustainability".

Photo by IISD/ENB·Kiara Worth

The 2030 Agenda recognizes that economic growth is not sufficient to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives. Growth must be approached holistically, with attention to social inclusion and support as well as to the environmental imperative. As Vinicius Pinheiro, Director of the NY Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO) said, decent work is central to this.

All the panellists highlighted the need to elaborate policies aimed at the “inclusiveness” of economic growth having impact on poverty reduction.

Tim Jackson, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, argued that prosperity and economic growth are not necessary going hand in hand. Therefore those supporting economic growth for the poorest should be distinguished. The foundations of the “Economy of tomorrow” should be creating decent jobs, sustainable investments (regenerative investments) and building an economy fit for purpose (prosperity and not only growth).

Bart Verspagen, Director-Dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) at Maastricht University and Director of United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), focused on technological knowledge as a major factor for economic growth. This made a few countries upgrade themselves from developing to develop countries, mostly in Asia. However, technological knowledge comes from abroad, and if these countries do not make knowledge available to their local economy (through industrial, trade, and science and innovation policies), growth will stop anyway. The relation between economic growth and inclusive growth is not automatic. Different policies aimed at making growth inclusive should be put in place and these are: 1) innovation policy that increases jobs (link innovation to climate change, produce new products); 2) labour market policies – stable jobs; 3) social protection policies to enable people to enter labour market.

ITUC’s Wellington Chibebe stressed that "Beautiful slogans like ’leave no one behind’" create lots of expectations that can be unattended if the right policies are not implemented. He stressed the importance of social dialogue and collective bargaining which is critical to ensure balanced policy making process and inclusive growth. Social Dialogue is crucial to develop anti-poverty policies and to ensure that the development agenda is really inclusive, through progressive redistribution of wealth. Implementation of social protection schemes and floors is also a pillar in policy shift towards a just development paradigm. Finally, social and economic policies need to be set in place which allow workers to transition into low carbon and decent jobs.

Watch Wellington Chibebe’s intervention below. 1st intervention starts at 24:45 and send intervention starts at 1:29:07.


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