Decent Work: The Path to Development in the Americas
With Cecilia Lopez Montano, Jerry Maldonado, Jose Antonio Ocampo, Keith Nurse, Mario Cimoli, Roberto Frenkel, Jose Serra, Victor Tokman, Mark Weisbrot, Armand Pereira, James Heintz
Tuesday, September 27, 2005 09:00 AM
Wednesday, September 28, 2005 05:00 PM
Jobless growth, unemployment and growing inequality represent a fundamental challenge to fulfilling the promises of democracy in the Americas. Indeed, polls conducted by a 2004 UNDP report on Democracy in Latin America assert that more than half of all Latin Americans—54.7 percent—say they would support an "authoritarian" regime over "democratic" government if authoritarianism rule could "resolve" their economic problems.
Such polling demonstrates the vulnerability of political democracy in the absence of any meaningful economic democracy. Economic democracy ensures the voice and participation of all citizens in economic decision-making and management of the economy. It ensures that individuals have access to and control over the resources they need for active civic engagement and for leading more dignified and productive lives—without which the promises of political democracy ring hollow and meaningless.
Addressing this challenge requires a new vision for hemispheric integration and development. This vision must reprioritize decent work, economic growth and human development, and facilitate the types of structural and policy changes necessary for lifting the hemisphere's poor out of a vicious cycle of unemployment, social exclusion and despair.
Conference Agenda (PDF | 156.37 K)