Ensuring that no one is left behind - Fostering economic growth, prosperity, and sustainability
Monday, 11 July 2016
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Economic growth is a critical element for reducing poverty in all its dimensions and for ensuring that no one is left behind. Sustained growth is required, particularly in the poorest regions, to catch up with decent living standards and to live a life of dignity, opportunity and hope. In developing countries, for example, growth can create the conditions for enhancing people’s access to products and services required to meet urgent needs. A critical channel from growth to prosperity relates to the capacity of growth to generate productive employment and decent work. This is critical in order to leave no one behind.
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 to protect the planet from degradation so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.
The hallmark of the 2030 agenda is the integrated nature of all the SDGs, and economic growth is a topic that illustrates very clearly the need for an integrated approach to development. Economic objectives like productivity through diversification, the upgrading of technology and innovation, and expanded employment and entrepreneurship will be achieved only with simultaneous progress in gender equality, education and reduced inequality, for instance. Global resource efficiency in consumption and production is also critical, to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation.
Decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation is a cornerstone element for sustainable development. In that regard, sustainable consumption and production provides a systemic approach to achieving sustainable growth and managing the related trade-offs. The 2030 Agenda highlights the need to ensure sustainable consumption and production, including through the implementation of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, and encourages all countries to take action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries. The 2030 Agenda also highlights the key role of private business activity, investment and innovation, and international trade for economic growth.
The session aims to stimulate discussion on ways to foster economic growth, prosperity and sustainability to implement the 2030 Agenda and ensure that no one is left behind. It will present different perspectives on the way in which economic growth relates to prosperity and sustainability, including sustainable consumption and production, reflecting the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The discussion will cut across different perspectives to provide policy guidance on the implementation of the Agenda.
Possible questions for discussion:
- What factors can influence the transition to a global economy that creates wellbeing, sustainability and reduction of inequality?
- What types of strategies and policies have proven effective for the promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth?
- What mechanisms would ensure a faster transition to sustainable consumption and production patterns?
- H.E. Mr. Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN and Vice President of ECOSOC
- Mr. Vinicius Pinheiro, Director of the NY Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Mr. Tim Jackson, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey
- Mr. 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)
- Mr. Dyborn Chibonga, Chief Executive Officer at the National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM)
- Mr. Wellington Chibebe, Deputy General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)