Development Forum on
“Integrating economic and social policies to achieve the
United Nations development agenda
14–15 March 2005 | United Nations headquarters, New York
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Highlights from Tuesday, 15 March 2005

Delegates to the UNDESA Development Forum on “Integrating economic and social policies to achieve the UN Development Agenda” participated in morning and afternoon panel discussion on: complementary development and social policies; the relationship between human and economic development; and targeted versus universal social policies.

Panel on Complementary Development and Social Policies

Chair Iftekar Ahmed Chowdhury, Bangladesh ’s Ambassador to the UN, stressed the importance of ensuring coherence between social and development policies, and creating an enabling environment for the achievement of UN Development Agenda and the MDGs. Erik Reinert, University of Oslo and Tallinn University of Technology, said aid should be balanced between development and social goals in order to prevent “welfare colonialism,” where overdoses of aid lead to underdoses of development.

Judith Tendler, Massachussets Institute of Technology, said the disconnect between social and economic development policy is undermining the UN Development Agenda and the MDGs.

Bruce Jenks, UNDP, questioned the view that the MDGs represent bad social policy and the abandonment of development altogether. Andre Siregar, Indonesia. Amb. Ali Mchumo, Common Fund for Commodities (CFC).

Gustav Ranis, Professor - Economics Yale University. José Antonio Ocampo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

Panel on the Relationship Between Human and Economic Development

Chair Johan Verbeke, Belgium ’s Ambassador to the UN, highlighted that economic and development policies should be people-centered. Frances Stewart, University of Oxford, presented a joint paper with Gustav Ranis, Yale University, on the links between human development and economic growth. Albert Berry, University of Toronto, analyzed the relationship between economic growth and human welfare mentioning different types of failures to achieve a positive interaction between the two.

Óscar Ugarteche, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, expressed caution over adopting a rigid conceptual view of fiscal revenue.

Nanak Kakwani, Director/Chief Economist, UNDP International Poverty Centre. Irena Zubčević, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the Repulic of Croatia to the United Nations.

Byron Blake, Jamaica. Swati Save questioned whether sequencing is possible in countries that do not have technical capacity to preparte development policies. M. Aynul Hasan, Cordination Unit/ MDG Centre, UNESCAP.

Judith Tendler, Massachussets Institute of Technology. Stephanie Griffith-Jones, UNDESA. Gustav Ranis, Professor - Economics Yale University.

Panel on Targeted Versus Universal Social Policies

Kwame Sundaram Jomo, UNDESA, presented a paper on behalf of Thandika Mkandawire, UN Research Institute for Social Development, on targeted versus universal social policies in developing countries. Applying the Pro-Poor Policy Index, Nanak Kakwani, UNDP Poverty Centre, provided an international comparison of the pro-poor policies of government programmes in Thailand, Russia, Vietnam and 17 African countries. Sergei Zelenev, UNDESA, commented on the presentations highlighting the need to analyze society’s values and the social aspects of macroeconomic policy.

Professor Frances Stewart, Director, CRISE (Centre for Rsearch on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity). Giovanni Andrea Cornia, University of Florence . Gustav Ranis, Professor - Economics Yale University.

Garfield Barnwell, Guyana. Byron Blake, Jamaica. José Antonio Ocampo, closed the meeting saying that the Forum was part of the informal preparatory activities leading into the upcoming ECOSOC Session, and thanked participants for their productive inputs and informative discussions.

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