On 9 September 2019, UNU will host “Economic Growth and the 2030 Development Agenda: The Economics of the SDGs” a conversation with Mr Elliott C. Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). This event will start at 18:30 on 9 September 2019 in the 1F Annex Space at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.
The health of modern economies is still frequently gauged by a single measure: the growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) year-over-year. There are clear shortcomings in this approach that mask vulnerabilities as countries develop and grow, as this measure gives no information about the quality, inclusiveness, or the social and environmental impact of growth. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global community has committed to a broader, more ambitious set of development objectives that should be pursued in a holistic and integrated fashion. Countries must devise policies that will achieve these interconnected objectives taking account of the interlinkages and trade-offs between them.
Clearly, there is a pressing need to move beyond GDP. Japan has a great deal to offer in terms of recovery and economic growth programs given its exceptional post-World War II economic trajectory. And its focus on a human development perspective during the past two decades is highly relevant. This conversation will situate these experiences amidst broader efforts to reflect on the multiple dimensions of sustainable development.
Mr Harris will join Dr David Passarelli, UNU Executive Officer, to share his perspective on measuring progress against agreed development frameworks and the impact this will have for the field of economics and practitioners interested in holistic approaches to growth.
The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.
Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 8 September 2019) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.
Mr Elliott C. Harris is currently the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist in the UN DESA. Prior to this, he served as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme from 2015 to 2018.
Before joining the UN, Mr Harris spent 25 years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund working in the African Department and Fiscal Affairs Department. He ended his career there as the Assistant Director of the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department.
Mr Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in German and political science as well as an advanced degree in economics. He was awarded an Advanced Studies Certificate in policy research and international economics from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
1F Annex Space
United Nations University
53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925