The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), an official body of the Secretariat of the United Nations, has acknowledged the need for its member states to investigate a basic income guarantee.

ECLAC made its recommendation in a passage in the “Epilogue” to its position document Horizons 2030: Equality at the Center of the Sustainable Development, released in May at the thirty-sixth session of ECLAC:

At the domestic level, countries must universalize social protection and the provision of education and health services to generate proactive —rather than merely defensive— responses to the uncertainty caused by globalization and the technology revolution. Public and private stakeholders have a better understanding today of the importance of ensuring a decent minimum income to provide social stability during the inevitable transition to robotics, which will hit employment hard (p 76).

Horizons 2030 was presented to ECLAC’s member states as a framework for “advancing towards a new development pattern … geared to achieving equality and environmental sustainability.” 

In recent interviews, Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena has emphasized ECLAC’s commitment to focusing on basic income as one of its key new issues.

ECLAC plans to continue to research basic income over the next few years, and to encourage discussion and debate about the subject in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Photo of Alicia Bárcena CC Josef Kandoll Wepplo / World Economic Forum (via Wikimedia Commons).

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