BEIJING (ILO News) – Michelle Bachelet, the head of UN Women and the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group, told a United Nations “Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum” held here to coincide with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, that increased social inclusion can promote growth and poverty elimination.
In her statement, the former President of Chile said “over the last decade a massive contingent of people were granted access to basic income and to essential social services in developing countries. We are certainly experiencing the fastest and largest social inclusion process ever. The inclusion of a vast number of people from developing countries in the markets will unlock their spending power and provide further dynamism to national and global economic growth.”
The Forum also heard statements from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and Vice-premier Hui Liangyu.
During his intervention, Mr Hui said the Chinese government would accelerate economic transformation to allow more people, especially those living in poverty, to share the benefits of economic and social development.
In a statement read by the UN resident coordinator in China, Mr. Ban said “decent and productive work is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and build self-sufficiency. How can we bridge the gap from poverty to decent work? By investing in economic and social policies that foster job creation; promoting decent labour conditions and deepening social protection systems.”
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is “From poverty to decent work: Bridging the gap".
Social protection – and in particular the concept of a social protection floor – has been increasingly recognized as a key development instrument at different international fora, most recently at the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York in September.
The UN has designated the social protection floor as one of its nine crisis response initiatives. Led by the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization, it aims to promote a set of basic social security rights and transfers, as well as essential services in the area of employment, health, water and sanitation, nutrition, education and family-support to protect and empower poor and vulnerable people to work out of poverty.