UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, December 6, 2017
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regretted on Tuesday that globalization, which has pulled many people out of poverty, has also increased global inequality and social instability.
“The rise in inequality has become the face of globalization and has caused discontent, intolerance and social instability especially among our young people,” Guterres said at the inauguration of the 37th session of the Economic Commission of the United Nations in Cuba. UN for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal).
“It is true that globalization has brought many benefits, more people have come out of extreme poverty (…) but too many people have been left behind,” he added.
The UN chief recalled that “for more than a generation, the incomes of the richest 1% of the planet had increased at a rate twice as fast as those of the poorest 50%”.
“Youth unemployment is reaching alarming levels, with tragic consequences” on their well-being, “on the chances of development of countries and even, in some parts of the world, with a negative impact on security”.
He stressed that women still have fewer opportunities than men to participate in the labor market “and gender pay inequities continue to be a cause for global concern”.
On this topic, Cepal Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena of Mexico assured that “poverty has the face of a woman” and that “one-third of the women in the region do not manage to have their own income” .
Guterres called for a “fair globalization” and the potential of the “fourth industrial revolution”, a digital transition in the global economy that is transforming societies profoundly.
The Cepal session in Cuba, organized until May 11, revolves around the issue of “the inefficiency of inequality” as well as mechanisms for stimulating economic growth through social protection.