Employment should be part of economic development, says UN official

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Jan Eliasson (left)

Full employment should be part of policies for economic development, said United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on Monday. 

Mr. Eliasson addressed the General Assembly as it discussed sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals of fighting poverty and disease.

He said many countries continue to face deep-rooted economic problems, seriously affecting vulnerable segments of their populations.

The Deputy Secretary-General called for a rethinking of the conventional approach to economic development.

"The conventional approach to economic development in recent decades was focused on low inflation and balanced budgets as the best way to stabilize economies in the short run and ensure growth in the long term. These policies did not make full employment an explicit target. It was almost as if macroeconomic policies were not part of the work for daily sustenance and poverty reduction. In reality, these policies can spell the difference between stability and crisis, between prosperity and poverty and even between life and death."

(Duration: 32")

Mr. Eliasson said the decisions facing policymakers in developing countries are particularly difficult to make because commodity and financial markets are volatile.

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