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While global economic indicators remain largely favourable, they do not tell the whole story. The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 underscores that behind these numbers, one can discern a build-up in short-term risks that are threatening global growth prospects. More fundamentally, the report raises concerns over the sustainability of global economic growth in the face of rising financial, social and environmental challenges.
Prospects for global macroeconomic development
Urgent and concrete policy action is needed to reduce risks to the global economy and secure the foundations for stable and sustainable economic growth. A dynamic and inclusive global economy is central to delivering the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Policymakers must work to contain short-term risks from financial vulnerabilities and escalating trade disputes while advancing a longer-term development strategy towards economic, social and environmental goals. Decisive policy actions rely on
a multilateral, cooperative and long-term approach to global policymaking in key areas, including combatting climate change, sustainable finance, sustainable production and consumption, and redressing inequality. This also requires progress towards a more inclusive,
flexible and responsive multilateral system.
Climate risks also threaten economic prospects, especially for small island developing States
Climate risks are intensifying, as the world experiences an increasing number of extreme weather events. Over the last six years, more than half of extreme weather events have been attributed to climate change. Climate shocks impact developed and developing countries alike, putting large communities at risk of displacement and causing severe damage to vital infrastructure. Nevertheless, the human cost of disasters falls overwhelmingly on low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Many small islands developing States in the Caribbean and Indian and Pacific Oceans are particularly exposed to climate risks, through flooding, rising aridity, coastal erosion and depletion of fresh water. Climate-related damage to critical transport infrastructures, such as ports and airports, may have broader implications for international trade and for the sustainable development prospects of the most vulnerable nations. Risks from marine inundation of coastal infrastructure will increase substantially when global warming reaches 1.5°C, which may be reached as early as in the 2030s.
Education, Employment Policies and Rural Infrastructure are Central to Reducing Inequality
High levels of inequality are a major barrier to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Broadening access to education and improving its quality is crucial to redressing this obstacle. Employment policies, such as raising minimum wages and expanding social protection, have also been shown to raise the living standards of the lowest income earners. Prioritizing rural infrastructure development, through public investment in transport, agriculture and energy, can also support poverty alleviation and narrow the rural-urban divide.
Lucubrate Magazine November 2019
The text is from the report “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019”, United Nations 2019
The Picture of the top of the article by Ariane Citron