Everyone Included – Championing Social Inclusion
“People want social and economic systems that work for everyone,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said earlier this summer. “The response to the pandemic, and to the widespread discontent that preceded it, must be based on a New Social Contract and a New Global Deal that create equal opportunities for all and respect the rights and freedoms of all.”
But we still have a long way to go. Even before COVID-19 started ravaging nations across the globe, the World Social Report 2020 confirmed that inequality has increased in most developed countries and remains very high in developing countries.
The coronavirus pandemic has now turned into a multi-faceted crisis, affecting people across regions. The virus has exposed the weakness of national health systems due to many years of under-investment, inadequacy of social protection systems and the acute vulnerability of marginalized communities and people living in poverty. It has reaffirmed the need of putting people at the center of development to address existing inequality in opportunity and access to health care, quality education, food, sustainable energy, clean drinking water and sanitation, adequate housing, digital technologies, and employment.
Aspirations to ‘place people at the centre of development, ensuring full participation by all’ are not new. They were shaped 25 years ago when the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and its Programme of Action were adopted at the World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) in Copenhagen. Guiding multilateral action on social development ever since, the Declaration represented a unique consensus on three key objectives: eradicating poverty, promoting full and productive employment, and fostering social inclusion.
As this year marks the 25th anniversary of this landmark event, the international community has an opportunity to reset inclusive social policies and to help countries recover better and with greater resilience to meet future challenges.
UN DESA will celebrate the anniversary on 1 December 2020 with a high-level General Assembly event, which will enable actors to renew their commitments to social development in support of the global goals and the world’s pledge to leave no one behind.
Learn more about the event and anniversary here and join us on social media using the hashtag #EveryoneIncluded.