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The Uruguayan Experience - A Letter to Civil Society and the UN

At a time when inequality is growing across the globe, Uruguay has managed to dramatically reduce poverty and inequality over the past decade.  It now has the most equal income distribution in Latin America.

The country is also working to generate 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.

Social Watch coordinator Roberto Bissio writes that the Uruguayan experience shows that "there are, indeed, viable alternatives to the classical neoliberal formulas" which can be models for the Post-2015 agenda.

Following the 2002 economic crisis, Uruguay chose not to follow the austerity path recommended by multilateral institutions and instead promoted decent work and a social safety net through

  • emergency cash transfers
  • active state participation in the economy to promote growth
  • collective bargaining that led to salary increases and
  • enforcing labour rights for rural and domestic workers.

Instead of repelling investors, Uruguay's Labour Minister told a recent global gathering of civil society activists in Montevideo that the policies boosted economic growth and coincided with a peak in foreign greenfield investment.

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