Economic and Social Council: 2017 Integration Segment, 26th Meeting

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SIX OFFICIAL 09-May-2017 01:49:26
Speaker underlines importance of institutional capacity, reliable data to improving health and education, as Economic and Social Council continues segment at 26th meeting.
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Many Delegates Outline Challenges Related to Climate Change, Constrained Resources

Government officials from around the globe today outlined efforts — often inspired by the deeply cross-cutting nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — to implement integrated, multisectoral policies, as they addressed the Economic and Social Council’s integration segment.

Entering the annual session’s second day, the Council heard a variety of perspectives related to this year’s theme, “Making eradication of poverty an integral objective of all policies: what will it take?” Speakers during a morning panel discussion on “national experiences” relayed both opportunities and challenges, citing policies ranging from private sector investment incentives to the establishment of social protection floors for the most vulnerable.

Paulo Luiz Moreaux Lavigne Esteves, General Supervisor at the Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) Policy Centre, was among the speakers citing concrete national policies as well as measurable results. In that regard, he described Brazil’s recent enrolment of almost 14 million families into a conditional cash transfer programme, noting that it had led to improvements in health, education and gender rights. That success was largely due to favourable sociopolitical conditions — including strong institutional capacity and reliable data — on the ground, he said.

Edward Sambili, Professor at Egerton University and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, outlined that country’s “interagency road map” for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which he said involved Government, non-governmental organizations, trade unions and other partners. Drawing attention to Kenya’s increasing focus on poverty reduction, he said social initiatives — such as the provision of both primary and secondary education and social protection schemes targeting the marginalized — were critical.

Striking a different tone, a number of delegates outlined rapidly accelerating challenges related to climate change, food insecurity and constrained resources — both natural and financial. Several speakers recounted national efforts to take such emerging issues into account in their policy approaches.

In that regard, Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, said supporting the sustainable development of small island developing States meant boosting human resources and technical capacity, particularly around data collection and analysis. Attracting private investment remained a challenge for such States due to their size and remote locations, he said.

During the ensuing interactive dialogue, discussions emerged about the specific needs of middle-income countries, small island developing States and others in special circumstances. In that regard, Mr. Sareer warned against categorizing countries into “different baskets”, recalling that despite Maldives’ 2011 graduation to middle-income status it continued to face major structural challenges.

In the afternoon, the Council held a panel discussion on “Policy instruments for an integrated approach to poverty eradication”, moderated by Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research. It also concluded its general debate, during which representatives outlined additional policies aimed at integrating the various elements of sustainable development.

Speaking during the general debate were the representatives of China, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Azerbaijan.

The Council will reconvene at 10 a.m. Wednesday, 10 May, to hold a panel discussion on the eradication of poverty in Africa.

Panel Discussion I

The Economic and Social Council held a panel discussion this morning on “National experiences”, moderated by Elizabeth Thompson, former Government Minister and Senator of Barbados and former Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. It included the following panellists: Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States; Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Permanent Representative of Peru; Miska Simanainen, researcher, Social Security Institution of Finland; Paulo Luiz Moreaux Lavigne Esteves, General Supervisor, Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Policy Centre; and Edward Sambili, Faculty Member, Economics Department of Egerton University and former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Kenya.

Panel Discussion II

This afternoon, the Council held a panel discussion on “Policy instruments for an integrated approach to poverty eradication”. Moderated by Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research (United States), it featured the following panellists: Bente Angell-Hansen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations in Vienna and Chair, Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its sixtieth session; Robert Kirkpatrick, Director, United Nations Global Pulse; Hanaa Elhelaly, Managing Director, Amwal Financial Investments (Egypt); and Shoaib Sultan-Khan, Chairman, Rural Support Programmes Network (Pakistan).
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1882975
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1884324