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The geography of development in Latin America and the Caribbean: towards a new multidimensional taxonomy of the Sustainable Development Goals

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Author: Tezanos Vázquez, Sergio UN symbol.: LC/PUB.2018/6-P p. 7-27; grafs., maps., tabls. August 2018


The Latin America and the Caribbean region has an ambiguous place in the new geography of development: while it is a predominantly middle-income region, it is home to no more than 3% of the world’s poor population. Consequently, there is a risk that the international community will (mis)interpret this situation as meaning that the region need not be prioritized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Nonetheless, the Sustainable Development Goals are not merely a strategy to combat economic poverty, but also a multidimensional strategy that defines a complex world map of priorities. This article develops a multidimensional taxonomy that addresses the fundamental dimensions of sustainable human development, beyond classifications based exclusively on per capita income. Cluster analysis is used to identify the different challenges faced by Latin American and Caribbean countries and to provide guidance for international cooperation policies.