Leveraging social protection policies to address inequality
Around the world today, about 1.3 billion people face multidimensional poverty and some 3 billion live without decent employment. Moving towards an equal and inclusive society, requires calibrating fiscal, wage and social protection policies to address the underlying causes and interlinkages of inequality and social exclusion. Effective social protection policies can overturn the vicious, unequal and exclusionary cycle that leave vulnerable groups behind.
These very topics were in focus when the Commission for Social Development (CSocD57) convened for its fifty-seventh session at UN Headquarters from 11 to 21 February.
“There is increased recognition that social protection floors contribute to preventing or alleviating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion, while promoting inclusive growth,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, as she addressed the opening of the Commission, which this year took place under the priority theme “Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies.”
Opening the session, the Chair of the Commission’s Bureau Cheikh Niang remarked “with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, combating inequality and social protection have moved to the center of the policy agenda in all countries.”
Delegates highlighted the importance of securing public expenditure, expanding access to quality services and providing decent work, while civil society organizations further stressed the need to mainstream age-, gender-, disability- and other diversity-sensitive measures in fiscal, wage and social protection policies.
The Commission hosted four high-level panel discussions, over 100 speakers during the general discussion, and almost 50 side events. This year, the emerging issues focused on “The empowerment of people affected by natural and manmade disasters to reduce inequality: addressing the differential impact on persons with disabilities, older persons and youth.”
The CSocD57 adopted three draft resolutions to forward to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) by consensus and proposed the priority theme of the next session to be “Affordable housing and social protection system for all to address homelessness.”
Going forward, Valentin Rybakov, Vice President of the ECOSOC, called for a paradigm shift on sustainable development, urging to turn to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups who are “disconnected from accountable institutions and are not consulted by those in power.”
For more information: 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD57)