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The Latin American social agenda in the year 2000

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The Latin American social agenda in the year 2000

Author: Franco, Rolando - Sáinz, Pedro Physical Description: páginas. 51-63 Date: April 2001 ECLAC symbol: LC/G.2130-P


Now that the 1990s have ended and a new millennium is dawning, the low rate of economic growth, the region's vulnerability to international financial instability and the limited progress made in terms of equity oblige us to reflect on the social agenda for the future. An important role in that agenda will continue to be played by the efforts to overcome poverty and indigence, conditioned to a large extent by the region's capacity for economic change and its dynamism in creating large numbers of jobs of higher quality in terms of productivity and income. At the same time, in view of the heavy burden of unfulfilled social needs that still persists, it is essential that social programmes should use their resources efficiently and -in order to be prepared for possible crises- safety nets should be established to cope with periods of recession. Those programmes must attach great importance to the creation of human capital, taking care to improve the present unsatisfactory distribution of education between the social strata, which is one of the symbols of Latin America's social shortcomings. Education alone, however, is not enough to overcome the lack of equity, improve income distribution and generate a situation of social mobility which will give sons and daughters better opportunities for material well-being and social status than their parents had. Economic change should take advantage of the better levels of education achieved by creating more jobs of higher productivity, for which purpose it will be necessary to increase the present investment coefficients and the procurement and dissemination of technical progress. A better mix of labour, capital and technical progress will lay the foundations for more inclusive and equalitarian societies.