Sean Healy, Director of Social Justice Ireland, was invited by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs to be part of an Expert Group Meeting on “Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for All” which was held at the United Nations in New York in May 2017. This Expert Group Meeting was organised to make specific policy recommendations on effective strategies for eradicating poverty in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including lessons from the implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017).
The outcome of the meeting will be used to prepare two reports of the Secretary-General that will be submitted to the 56th session of the Commission for Social Development and the 72nd session of the General Assembly.
Sean Healy was requested to submit a paper and make a presentation on "Strategies to combat poverty and generate decent employment in the European Union". Our European Research Series informed the recommendations that were brought to the Expert Group. We were very pleased to see our work reflected in the Key Policy Messages and Recommendations Report of the Expert Group in the following paragraph:
"The social welfare systems in developed countries are no longer fit for purpose. There should be an adjustment of the paradigm including promotion, and openness to study new ideas around a new social contract that is more appropriate for the 21st century. This may entail moving towards a universal basic income system, supporting a living wage rather than a minimum wage, recognizing all work (not just paid employment) as meaningful, and ensuring that all government decisions are subjected to a poverty-proofing process. While the centrality of employment and decent jobs to eradicate poverty is well recognized, employment growth has not been sufficient to absorb the growing labour force, particularly in those countries and regions with large youth populations. Further, there has been a divergence between productivity and wages growth, as well as growing employment insecurity and casualization in all countries."
The UN Key Policies and Recommendations document is available here.
Details of all the other papers and presentations made at the Expert Group Meeting are available here.