UNDESA World Social Report

Inclusion, empowerment and equality, must be ‘at the heart of our efforts’ to ensure sustainable development, says UN chief

The World Social Report (previously Report on the World Social Situation) is prepared by the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

Over the years, the Report has served as a background document for discussion and policy analysis of socio-economic matters at the intergovernmental level, and has aimed at contributing to the identification of emerging social trends of international concern and to the analysis of relationships among major development issues which have both international and national dimensions.

In its resolution 56/177 of 15 December 2001, the United Nations General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to change the periodicity of the Reports on the World Social Situation from a four-year cycle to a two-year cycle.

The resolution A/RES/56/177 is available in the following languages:
English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي | 汉语

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World Social Report 2021

World Social Report 2021: Reconsidering Rural Development

An urgent reconsideration of rural development is needed for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The current strategies and patterns of rural development are failing to meet either the socioeconomic or the environmental Goals of this Agenda. Four out of every five people who face extreme poverty around the world live in rural areas. Many rural areas are witnessing severe depletion and degradation of natural resources, contributing to climate change and the recurrence of zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19.

The World Social Report 2021 points to the ways in which rural development can be reset to achieve sustainable development. It calls for moving rural development to the centre of attention, instead of relegating it as an appendage of urban development; for ending the rural-urban divide through the adoption of the in situ urbanization model; for ending within-rural inequality; and for achieving rural development while preserving the environment. World Social Report 2021 shows that new digital and frontier technologies are creating opportunities for achieving these goals. What is needed is to seize these opportunities and to convert into reality the long-standing goal of eradicating the rural-urban disparity.

Join us at the launch of the World Social Report 2021 on May 20th, 12 noon EST at webtv.un.org.

The full report is available here.

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