(6 October 2010) "Social equality and economic growth should not be at odds," said the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Alicia Bárcena today in Madrid.
"Growth with equality requires a macroeconomy that mitigates volatility, foments productivity and favours inclusion and a dynamic production that can close internal and external gaps," she said.
The high-ranking United Nations official presented in Madrid the ECLAC document Time for Equality: Closing Gaps, Opening Trails, published by the Commission this year and released during its Thirty-third Session held in Brasilia in June.
In the document, ECLAC offers its member States and associate members a new roadmap for the upcoming years, where equality is at the center of the development agenda.
"We are talking about equality based on the effective entitlement of rights, as a common ethic and an ultimate unrenounceable principle," said Bárcena during the presentation in the auditorium of the International and Ibero American Foundation of Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), a public institution that is part of Spain's international cooperation system.
The document suggests a broad array of State policies that contribute to spur growth, promote productivity, foment greater territorial articulation, create better job conditions and labour institutions and provide social protection with a clear universalist and redistributive vocation.
According to Bárcena, to face the challenge of equality, Latin America and the Caribbean must address historical and recent debts, such as the worst income distribution in the world, increasing productive heterogeneity, the segmentation of labour and social protection, racial, ethnic and gender discrimination and the asymmetric vulnerability to climate change.
"We must equalize strengthening human capabilities and actively reverting disparities; in other words, universalizing rights and social services and fostering inclusion from the labour market, with more and better State to redistribute, regulate and supervise," she stated.
The Executive Secretary of ECLAC stressed the importance of promoting "a fiscal covenant with redistributive effect", because taxation is essential to provide States with the capacity to finance policies aimed at diminishing social gaps.
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