During the Second Meeting of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, participants said that reducing the social footprint of the current development model and achieving inclusive social development are critical for achieving the SDGs, and expressed concern regarding reduced social development budgets in the region and the possible weakening of social protection systems that this could cause.
ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena called for designing a regional agenda on inclusive social development that would enable countries to achieve the SDGs.
She presented a report on 'Linkages between the social and production spheres,’ which addresses the dual challenge of social and labor inclusion.
28 October 2017: Reducing the social footprint of the current development model and achieving inclusive social development are critical for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to participants attending the Second Meeting of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Participants emphasized the need for: safeguarding, promoting and ensuring the efficiency of social investment; a more progressive tax burden to avoid setbacks; and equality to ensure sustainable development in the LAC region.
The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Government of Uruguay organized the event, which convened from 25-27 October 2017, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Addressing the conference, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena called for designing a regional agenda on inclusive social development that would enable countries to achieve the SDGs. Bárcena highlighted a number of options for financing the 2030 Agenda, including safeguarding investment and social public spending, fighting tax evasion and illicit financial flows, incentivizing private financing, relieving the foreign debt of Caribbean countries and redefining the criteria for middle-income countries (MICs). She emphasized that the region requires “growth to attain equality and equality to grow” by mitigating volatility, fostering productivity and favoring inclusion.
Despite gains made in the region, the report finds that seven out of every 10 households are not reaching minimum levels of simultaneous social and labor inclusion.
Bárcena also presented a report titled, ‘Linkages between the social and production spheres: Gaps, pillars and challenges,’ which addresses the dual challenge of social and labor inclusion, a concept that entails ‘accessing the benefits of development and enjoying the full exercise of rights.’ The report explains that, despite gains made in the region, seven out of every 10 households are not reaching minimum levels of simultaneous social and labor inclusion. The report states that dual inclusion remains out of reach for the majority of the rural population due to lack of access to basic infrastructure, low education levels and lack of labor protection. The report also highlights transformational changes in the world of work, such as greater complexity in global value chains, environmental challenges and demographic trends, including migration and an aging population. The document underscores that all of the SDGs have implications for the region’s social development.
The conference adopted a resolution in which countries commit to building a regional agenda for inclusive social development based on policies that address the region’s structural inequalities and challenges arising from technological change, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda’s social dimension. The resolution urges countries to, inter alia, undertake efforts to strengthen a culture of equality and safeguard social investments. It calls on ECLAC to further analyze the social dimension of the 2030 Agenda and how it interconnects with the economic and environmental dimensions, and challenges related to sustainable financing to close gaps in access to social protection systems and social services.
The resolution requests ECLAC to set up an observatory on social development to support public policymaking and assist in monitoring trends. [Conference Website] [ECLAC Press Release] [ECLAC Executive Secretary Statement] [ECLAC Press Release on Opening of Meeting] [Landing Page for Report on Linkages between the Social and Production Spheres] [Draft Resolution]