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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UNDESA World Social Report

World Social Report 2020: Inequality in a Rapidly Changing World
The Report examines the impact of four such megatrends on inequality: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration. Technological change can be an engine of economic growth, offering new possibilities in health care, education, communication and productivity. But it can also exacerbate wage inequality and displace workers. The accelerating impacts of climate change are being felt around the world, but the poorest countries and groups are suffering most, especially those trying to eke out a living in rural areas. Urbanization offers unmatched opportunities, yet cities find poverty and wealth in close proximity, making high and growing levels of inequality all the more glaring. International migration allows millions of people to seek new opportunities and can help reduce global disparities, but only if it occurs under orderly and safe conditions. While these megatrends and the policies aimed at managing them interact with each other in multiple ways, the focus of this report is exclusively on the direct effect of each megatrend on inequality.

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