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As governments scramble to shore up failing financial institutions and inject stimulus packages into deteriorating economies, the impact on the most vulnerable groups in all societies is going unnoticed, a United Nations commission warned today.
Concrete policy recommendations promoting a more equitable society for people living in poverty, older persons, youth, and migrants and their families – some of those most affected by the current economic meltdown – will be high on the agenda of the Commission for Social Development as it opened its annual meeting.
“With the global financial and economic crisis we already have indications of the growing number of working poor, rising unemployment and growing social unrest,” said Ambassador Kirsti Lintonen of Finland.
“Those impacts of the current crisis are expected only to get worse. They undermine social policy and threaten social stability,” added Ms. Lintonen, Chair of the Commission for Social Development, which is a functional body of the UN Economic and Social Council.
The Ambassador warned that unless swift action is taken, the global financial, food and climate crises will harshly strike the most vulnerable, pushing them to the margins of society.
During its 10-day gathering at UN Headquarters in New York, the Commission will also launch the World Day for Social Justice, which will be celebrated annually on 20 February worldwide.
The Day is mandated by the General Assembly in recognition of the “need to consolidate further the efforts of the international community in poverty eradication and in promoting full-employment and decent work, gender equality and access to social well-being and justice for all.”
At the conclusion of its meeting, the Commission is expected to call on UN Member States to initiate policy measures both at national and international levels aimed at ensuring greater social and economic cohesion, including through full employment and decent work for all.