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Speeches / Presentations
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Welcome speech - income distribution data meeting
Korea is well known for its successful transition from hardship to prosperity and technological prowess. This amazing transformation and strong economic performance have allowed the country to make important progress also in the social sphere. However, like most of the members of the OECD, Korea still faces significant challenges to building an equitable and inclusive society.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría gave opening remarks at the launch of the OECD report, "Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now!"
In Israel, income inequality has risen substantially over the past three decades, from already high levels. To reverse this trend, policy makers should promote high quality and inclusive education, but also labour-market and social-policy measures.
Given the high debt level, large-scale increases in social spending are not affordable. Instead, Japan needs to focus on the underlying cause of rising equality and poverty through structural reforms that can provide a double dividend by boosting economic growth and social cohesion.
There is nothing inevitable about high and growing inequalities, said Mr Gurría. Our report clearly indicates that upskilling of the workforce is by far the most powerful instrument to counter rising income inequality. The investment in people must begin in early childhood and be followed through into formal education and work, he added.
The jobs crisis has three particularly worrying aspects. First, the risk of unemployment becoming entrenched is more and more real in a number of G20 countries. Second, the crisis impacts disproportionately on youth. Finally, growing inequality threatens to affect social cohesion and the living standards of vulnerable families and individuals. To deal with these threats, job creation must be restarted quickly, accompanied by stronger
At this pre-G20 Event 'Growing Economies through Women’s Entrepreneurship', A. Gurría declared that 'Girls and women represent 3.3 billion ways to change this world. This is the lemma from this year’s G20 Girls Summit. It is also a powerful truth. We need to unleash this potential.'
The recent surge in social movements is a clear call for an economy with a more human face. Reconciling long-term economic growth and people’s well-being can be achieved if structural policies focus on what matters most to people in advanced and less-advanced economies alike, said Angel Gurría.
Urgent action must be taken by the governments to tackle high unemployment and growing inequality. Good-quality social policies, particularly those addressed to the most vulnerable, should be seen as sound investments to promote economic growth and well-being, according to Angel Gurría.