Thematic Session: Responding to the economic shock, relaunching growth, sharing economic benefits and addressing developing countries financing challenges
Co-conveners: DESA, ILO, UNRISD, UN-Women, World Bank.

External experts listed on this page and the following United Nations entities have also contributed to the workstream: ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA, IFAD, IMF, IMO, IOM, ITC, ITU, OHCHR, OHRLLS, UNDP, UNDRR, UNEP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOOSA, UNWTO, WHO.

Economic activity provides livelihoods, jobs, incomes and the means to attain many other elements of a better life. However, in recent decades, economic growth has been accompanied by increasing or persistently high levels of inequality within countries – between the rich and poor, women and men, and different groups within society, such as between migrants and nationals. It has also been accompanied by growing environmental degradation. With current production and consumption systems threatening the well-being of present and future generations. Such trends seem set to continue and many have been brought to the fore with the differential impact of COVID-19 on different population groups, and national responses to it. A fundamental reconfiguration is needed in economic policymaking and the production and consumption of goods and services, in tandem with a diminished environmental footprint and greater distributional justice that prioritizes gender equality, access to decent jobs, and social protection for all. Achieving this in line with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development will require leadership from both the public and the private sector, shifts in social norms, and engagement with civil society and the science community.

Guiding questions:

  • What are some promising actions to support progress toward sustainable economic growth and sharing economic benefits that generate synergies across Goals and targets? Are there trade-offs from these actions and if so, how can they be mitigated?
  • Which groups are especially vulnerable to missing out on economic benefits and decent work, and what are ways to ensure that actions leave no one behind?
  • How might responses to COVID-19 facilitate or complicate efforts to reduce these vulnerabilities including for informal workers and the working poor?
  • How might responses to COVID-19 facilitate or complicate efforts to reduce these vulnerabilities including for informal workers and the working poor?
  • What long-term policy measures and social protections are necessary to promote the resilience of the most marginalized groups to economic and environmental shocks?
  • Are there examples of successful partnerships and initiatives to harness synergies and/or reduce trade-offs in economic systems?
  • What steps can be taken to promote the sustained participation of civil society organizations, women’s and girls’ organizations, youth-led organizations and national human rights institutions? Can these be scaled up or adjusted to fit other contexts?
  • What role can science, technology and innovation (STI) play in the transformation to sustainable and equitable economic systems, and how do we prevent STI from expanding inequalities within and among groups vulnerable to being left behind?

Participants
Mr. Alexandru Cojocaru
Senior Economist, Poverty and Equality Practice, World Bank
Mr. Alexandru Cojocaru

Senior Economist, Poverty and Equality Practice, World Bank

Mr. Denison Jayasooria
Professor and Co-chair Malaysian CSO SDG Alliance, Chair of Asian solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) and Board member of RIPESS
Mr. Denison Jayasooria

Professor and Co-chair Malaysian CSO SDG Alliance, Chair of Asian solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) and Board member of RIPESS

Mr. Douglas Opio
Executive Director, Federation of Uganda Employers
Mr. Douglas Opio

Executive Director, Federation of Uganda Employers

Mr. Jan Van Zanen
Mayor of The Hague, Co-President of UCLG
Mr. Jan Van Zanen

Mayor of The Hague, Co-President of UCLG

Mr. Leandro Morais
Professor and Researcher at State, University of São Paulo, Brazil - UNESP-Araraquara
Mr. Leandro Morais

Professor and Researcher at State, University of São Paulo, Brazil - UNESP-Araraquara

Mr. Matthias Thorns
Deputy Secretary-General, International Organization of Employers (IOE) (MGoS)
Mr. Matthias Thorns

Deputy Secretary-General, International Organization of Employers (IOE) (MGoS)

As Deputy Secretary-General, Matthias Thorns has a part in the overall responsibility for the management of the IOE Secretariat in its work to support the global business community in itsrepresentation vis-a-vis the UN institutions, as well as G20, G7 and other international initiatives.

His career began as Adviser for Social Affairs in the European Business Federation UNICE (now BUSINESSEUROPE), before moving to the Confederation of German Employers as Adviser and later Deputy Director of the International and European Affairs Department, looking after European and International Social Policy, CSR and Human Rights as well as OECD ELSA matters.

After leaving the Confederation of German Employers in 2012, Matthias joined the IOE as Senior Adviser, leading the work on Human Rights, G20 and G7, Global Supply Chains as well as SMEs.

In 2017 Matthias joined the Workplace Rights team of The Coca-Cola Company as Human Rights and Workplace Rights Manager, where he was among other things responsible for the planning, coordinating and drafting of the first stand-alone Human Rights Report of The Coca-Cola Company, the Human Rights training for bottling partners as well as the roll-out of the revised human rights policy of the Coca-Cola Company across the regions.

In 2018 he was appointed IOE Director of Stakeholder Engagement and a year later IOE Deputy Secretary-General. Matthias supervises the IOE’s work related to G20 and G7, human rights, agenda 2030, migration and programmes under an EU framework agreement, and is responsible for the IOE company networks: the Global Industrial Relations Network (GIRN), the Global Occupational Safety and Health Network (GOSH) as well as the Corporate Partner Initiative.

Matthias is a member of the Governance Committee of the Centre for Sports and Human Rights, the UN Global Compact Expert Network, Co-Chair of the ILO Child Labour Platform and member of the Global Coordination Group of the Alliance 8.7.

Matthias holds a Master of Arts in European Studies and a Magister Artium in History and Philosophy, both from the University of Hannover.

He participated in the CGF “Future Leaders Programme” in 2018 and in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. State Department in July 2012.

Mr. Peter Utting
Former Deputy Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
Mr. Peter Utting

Former Deputy Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

Mr. Trywell Kalusopa
Executive Director, Zambia Institute for Labour Research & Development (ZILARD) and Professor, University of Namibia
Mr. Trywell Kalusopa

Executive Director, Zambia Institute for Labour Research & Development (ZILARD) and Professor, University of Namibia

Ms. Catalina Devandas
UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Ms. Catalina Devandas

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Ms. Devashree Saha
Senior Associate, World Resources Institute
Ms. Devashree Saha

Senior Associate, World Resources Institute

Ms. Iris Caluag
Youth Employment Solutions Program Officer, Plan International Asia
Ms. Iris Caluag

Youth Employment Solutions Program Officer, Plan International Asia

Ms. Kate Donald
Director of Program, Center for Economic and Social Rights
Ms. Kate Donald

Director of Program, Center for Economic and Social Rights

Ms. Laurence Kwark
Secretary General, Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF)
Ms. Laurence Kwark

Secretary General, Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF)

Ms. Luisa Emilia Reyes Zuñiga
Program Director, Public Policies and Budgets for Equality and Sustainable Development, Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia; also, Co-convenor, Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development
Ms. Luisa Emilia Reyes Zuñiga

Program Director, Public Policies and Budgets for Equality and Sustainable Development, Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia; also, Co-convenor, Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development

Ms. Marjorie Pamintuan
Research and Policy Coordinator, IBON International
Ms. Marjorie Pamintuan

Research and Policy Coordinator, IBON International

Ms. Martha (Marty) Chen
Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Founder, Internationla Coordinator Emeritus and Senior Advisor, Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) Network
Ms. Martha (Marty) Chen

Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Founder, Internationla Coordinator Emeritus and Senior Advisor, Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) Network

Martha (Marty) Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, an Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Senior Advisor of the global research-policy-action network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialization are employment, gender and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. Before joining Harvard in 1987, she had two decades of resident field experience in South Asia: in Bangladesh in the 1970s, working with BRAC, an NGO which has gained world-wide scope and reputation: and in India in the 1980s, where she served as field representative of Oxfam America. In both capacities, she worked closely with working poor women in both villages and urban settlements to promote their economic empowerment. She co-founded and led the WIEGO Network for twenty years. Today, WIEGO is well known worldwide for its work to improve the status of the working poor in the informal economy through stronger organizations, improved statistics and research and a more favorable policy environment. The networks of informal workers in the WIEGO Network have more than 1000 affiliates in 90 countries: www.wiego.org. Dr. Chen received a PhD in South Asia Regional Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded a high civilian award, the Padma Shri, by the Government of India in April 2011; and a Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War award by the Government of Bangladesh in December 2012.

Ms. Paola Simonetti
Deputy Director, Economic and Social Policy Department, International Trade Union Confederation (WTUMG), and Co-Chair of the MGoS Steering Group
Ms. Paola Simonetti

Deputy Director, Economic and Social Policy Department, International Trade Union Confederation (WTUMG), and Co-Chair of the MGoS Steering Group

Paola Simonetti is the Deputy Director of the Economic and Social Policy Department at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). In that position she is in charge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), coordinating trade unions engagement and leading members in SDGs related policy processes with multilateral institutions such as the UN, ILO, OECD, EU, as well as, with Civil Society Organizations’ networks. Prior to that, Ms. Simonetti was policy advisor at the ITUC on development policy, and previously served as Head of the European Office of CISL trade union since 2003, in charge of advocacy and regional programs coordination.

Ms. Sandra Fredman
Director, Oxford Human Rights Hub Rhodes; Professor of Law, Oxford University
Ms. Sandra Fredman

Director, Oxford Human Rights Hub Rhodes; Professor of Law, Oxford University

United Nations