More from UNDESA Vol , No. - April 2018

Economic boom for whom?

To end poverty, we must share economic gains more equally

On paper, we have every reason to be optimistic. After years of turbulence, the global economy is back on track with a healthy 3 per cent growth, extreme poverty has declined dramatically over the past 20 years and unemployment is falling in many parts of the world. Yet, large parts of the global population will struggle to see similar advancements in their personal financial situation.

In developing and developed countries alike, the global economic rebound has been slow to translate into higher wages and lower poverty. One reason behind this is the deepening income inequality. Evidence from several developed countries suggests that the recent growth in wages is benefitting primarily the high-earners. This is particularly true for the United States, where many analysts have linked growing inequality to the popularity of inward-looking policies.

Developing countries have equally experienced a sharp spike in income inequalities. In 1980, the 10 per cent of highest earners in India accrued just over 30 per cent of the national income. In 2016, it was already 55 per cent. In 2014, more than one in every five rupees of the national income went to just one per cent of the population – a record high for India.

Similarly, the top one per cent of South Africans earns one fifth of all the wages paid out, while the bottom 50 per cent only receive 12 per cent. Gender inequalities are equally prevalent. In Tanzania, 42 per cent of female employees receive less than two-thirds of the median hourly wage.

But wage disparities only tell part of the story. For decades, wage and salary earners as a whole have been seeing their slice of the national income shrink, in favour of their employers and shareholders, and to satisfy production costs. This has further fuelled the rise of global inequalities to today’s unsustainable levels.

Governments are far from defenceless, however. Rising inequality calls for more effective labour market policies, including more progressive tax systems, better social protection and a review of minimum wages.

None of these policies are easy to implement, but without urgent action to narrow the growing gap between the rich and the poor, ending poverty by 2030 will become impossible.

Every month UN DESA’s World Economic Situation and Prospects Monthly Briefing brings you the latest in the global economy. You can find the latest, April issue, here.

For more information:

Readying public institutions for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

With year three of the 2030 Agenda implementation well underway, countries around the world are transforming their public institutions to make them fit for the purpose of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Committee of Experts on Public Administration will meet in April to discuss how public institutions can improve to effectively implement the SDGs.

The Committee of Experts on Public Administration will meet from 23 to 27 April for its 17th session. The 24 members of the Committee will discuss the readiness of institutions and policies for implementation of the 2030 Agenda; building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions and supporting the transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies by enhancing and equipping institutions.

The Committee will discuss key issues related to the implementation of the SDGs, such as improving coherent public policies, effectively allocating resources, combating corruption, promoting innovative public services and improving public servants’ competencies.

The new members of the Committee have been appointed by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to provide independent advice on governance and public administration matters critical to achieve sustainable development.

The Committee will adopt an input to the High-level Political Forum and a draft resolution for ECOSOC.

More information:

Committee of Experts on Public Administration

Playing for Global Goals – the role of sports in development

From Jesse Owens defying racial stereotypes to win four golds at the 1936 Berlin Olympics to Team Refugees demonstrating the strength of human spirit in Rio, to the two Koreas marching together at the recent winter games in Pyeongchang – there is nothing that brings humanity together quite like sports.

Although there is limited comparable data to prove the impact of sport on peace and development, the inspiring stories of compassion, cooperation, fair play and respect for the opponent are an undeniable proof of the power that sports hold over our hearts and minds.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes this power, describing sport as an important enabler for sustainable development, contributing to the promotion of tolerance, respect, empowerment of women and youth, health, education and social inclusion.

Each year, on 6 April, the world International Day of Sport for Development and Peace encourages the citizens of the world to learn, innovate and promote the ways, in which sport can help their countries and communities to live peaceful, prosperous lives.

This 6 April, UN DESA will launch an online campaign, #PlayforGlobalGoals, inviting individuals and organizations to take to social media and share pictures of the “power of sport to promote peace, unity and social inclusion”.

For more information: International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Follow Us