On Tuesday, March 29th the Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) was held to discuss “Social Development, experiences to reduce poverty and promote inclusion with equity.”
At the meeting, Minister Hector Cardenas from the Secretariat for Social Action of Paraguay, proposed five specific topics to be part of the Social Development Ministerial to be held 13th and 14th of July in Asuncion, Paraguay. The topics proposed are as follows:
a. Analyze the current situation of poverty and vulnerability in the Americas, with emphasis on mechanisms to narrow the gaps.
b. Review the costs of inequality for countries of the Americas and the evolution of social investment and its implications.
c. Identify successful experiences of systems or networks of social protection and economic inclusion, and promote the exchange of such experiences through the Inter-American Social Protection Network.
d. Set out uniform guidelines for monitoring the implementation of the Plan of Action of the Social Charter of the Americas, and
e. Analyze regional contributions to meeting the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda.
Minister Cardenas considered that the convergence of regional efforts in the OAS framework will strengthen public policies and make them more effective for families, providing them with more opportunities to improve their living conditions.
Subsequently, Ideli Salvatti, Secretary of the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity of the OAS, stated that public policies in the region should incorporate a human rights approach, a gender perspective and life cycle approach, always taking the national contexts and the needs of each country into consideration. In addition, Salvatti highlighted the importance of IASPN as a regional mechanism for exchange and cooperation in matters of social protection.
Sabina Alkire, Director of OHPI who is internationally recognized for the contribution to the measurement of Multidimensional Poverty, opened the meeting as one of the speakers. Alkire recognized the importance of placing people at the center of public policy and how Multidimensional Poverty Indicators (MPI) not only contribute by a giving a better focus for programs but also by enabling greater inter-sectoral coordination among governments. She also mentioned about the experience in measuring multidimensional poverty in Mexico and Colombia and the efforts given by many countries in the region to define their own MPI.
Next, Ludovico Feoli, Executive Director of the Center for Inter-American Policy & Research and expert from the Commitment for Equity Institute, an institution that studies the effects of fiscal policy on poverty levels and inequality, reminded OAS representatives of the countries that the marginal contribution of spending on education and health always promotes equity. He also indicated that it is of great importance to study the effects of tax systems, as the promotion of equity may sometimes result in the increase of poverty rate.
Camille Busette, Lead Financial Sector Specialist of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) also participated at the meeting. Busette, who coordinates graduation programs in different regions of the world, mentioned that there should be a synergy between different approaches to overcome poverty and inequality in the long term. Likewise, she reiterated the importance of increasing the purchasing power of the poor countries for a more inclusive society.
Finally, Neil Parsan, Executive Secretary for Integral Development, reiterated that the OAS offers a unique space for the formulation and implementation of an integral development agenda.
Representatives of countries pledged to continue working for an equity agenda in the framework of the Third Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development to be held on 13 and 14 July in Paraguay.