Promoting jobs, growth and the green economy

Promoting jobs, growth and the green economy (UN Photo/Jerry Frank)

The declining prospects for economic growth, especially in developed countries and the challenge of financing the transition to green economies are some of the topics that will be discussed in the upcoming Special High-level meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and UNCTAD on 12-13 March in New York. The meeting will take place under the overall theme of “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of Financing for Development”.

The UN Secretary-General will address the meeting followed by a short opening plenary with brief statements by the President of ECOSOC and senior representatives of relevant intergovernmental bodies. The meeting will consist of informal thematic debates on the following topics: “Promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, job creation, productive investment and trade” and “Financing of sustainable development”.

The first thematic debate will center on policy interventions that can help promote sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, job creation, productive investment and trade. The declining prospects for economic growth, especially in the developed countries, continue to threaten the fragile recovery from the world financial and economic crisis.

Many workers in developing countries continue to face social challenges such as unemployment, poor pay, vulnerable job conditions and lack of access to any form of social security. Overall, according to ILO estimates, the world must create 600 million jobs over the next decade to compensate for jobs lost during the crisis and meet the needs of a larger global population. Public spending measures to increase demand and productive capacities as well as efforts to set in place an enabling legal and regulatory framework to promote an effective private sector are some of the many possible solutions that will be discussed to facilitate job creation. 

In addition, the debate will discuss the potential for a trade-employment nexus, as well as the possible contribution of Official Development Assistance and external borrowing to sustain growth and employment in developing countries.

Major steps in the continuing effort to reform the international financial and monetary system will also be debated in this first session. This includes strengthening international financial regulation and the management of volatile cross-border capital flows.

In the second thematic debate on the financing of sustainable development, participants will examine the concept of greening the economy and the measures and policies needed to scale up financing at the national, regional and international levels. It is estimated that at least $1.1 trillion will be needed per year for incremental investments in green technology in developing countries.

The main challenge is that “Green technologies” need to become cost-competitive with established technologies and be afforded appropriate support. Given the magnitude of financing requirements for a sustainable economy transition, financial resources need to be raised from the entire range of private, public and mixed sources, and through multiple channels and instruments. A strategic approach, using public funds in part to steer and leverage private sector finance, will be debated in this final session.

The meeting will conclude with remarks from the President of ECOSOC, H.E. Mr. Miloš Koterec.

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