Chapter V: A new context for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

World Economic and Social Survey 2017 Chapter V

Key messages

  • The turbulence of the present decade, which began with the spillover effects of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, has demonstrated that global mechanisms designed to resolve trade and financial imbalances remain, as in the past, ill suited to preventing the eruption of large-scale economic and financial turmoil.
  • Long-term stagnation in developed countries could act as a major constraint on growth in developing countries, create instability in trade and financial markets, and reduce the availability of investments and concessional finance to the least developed countries.
  • Periods of difficulty present a rare opportunity to restructure the global economy. Coherent and internationally coordinated policy actions, with the adequate representation of developing countries, are needed for stable growth and employment creation. Policy coordination is particularly important in the areas of monetary and fiscal policy, international trade and the global financial system. In addition, effective financial regulation and supervision are needed to prevent financial bubbles driven by speculation and short-term destabilizing flows.
  • An international countercyclical response comprising public works programmes, social protection, financial support and investment incentives for employment creation is needed to reactivate economic growth. As part of a global new deal, such a response would speed up economic recovery and address sustainable development, climate change and food security challenges.
  • Policies must pay particular attention to reducing the social cost of the disruptions and displacements caused by globalization and technology which increase inequalities and result in political unrest.

Chapter 5