Extraordinary economic growth and widespread improvements in well-being have failed to close the deep divides across countries and within societies.
More than 70 per cent of the world population now live in countries where income inequality has increased in the last three decades. Inequalities between social groups, including those based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, migrant status and disability, are pervasive in developed and developing countries alike.
UN DESA has been calling attention to inequality and its consequences for many years. Fifteen years ago, DESA warned that growing inequality could jeopardize the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals. In 2013, DESA argued that addressing inequalities is not only a moral imperative but also necessary in order to unleash the human and productive potential of each country’s population and to bring development towards a socially-sustainable path.
Inequality has since moved to the forefront of the policy debate. “Leave no one behind” is the rallying cry of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. And reducing inequality within and among countries is Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
If the vision of a shared future is to be carried forward, everyone will have to seize every opportunity to take bold and decisive action to reduce inequality.
- HLPF 2019 on “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” reviews Goal 10 on inequality [July 2019]
- UNU-WIDER – UN DESA hold joint workshop on inequality [May 2019]
- CSocD57 concluded its session on inequalities, social inclusion by adopting three draft resolutions [Feb 2019]
- Inequality must be addressed through social protection policies [Feb 2019]
- 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development, 11-21 February 2019
Social Development Briefs
- Leaving no one behind? Mixed Success
- “Policy Imperatives for Leaving No One Behind”
- “Employment Opportunities: Do Race and Ethnicity Matter?”
- Prejudice and discrimination: Barriers to social inclusion”
- “Promoting the inclusion of young people through social protection”
- “Social protection systems and measures for all? International migrants are left far behind”
- “Social protection for indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities: Overcoming discrimination and geographic isolation”
NEW! World Social Report (previous Report on the World Social Situation)
- The challenge of inequality in a rapidly changing world (forthcoming)
- Promoting inclusion through social protection (2018)
- Leaving no one behind: the imperative of inclusive development (2016)
- Inequality matters (2013)
Meetings, events and workshops
- UNU-WIDER – UN DESA workshop on inequality [May 2019]
- Seminar on Inequality and Inclusive Growth in Rich Countries with Dr. Brian Nolan [Oct 2018]
- Webinar on promoting inclusion through social protection [Oct 2018]
- New research on inequality and its impacts [Sept 2018]
- Addressing Inequalities and Challenges to Social Inclusion through Fiscal, Wage and Social Protection Policies [June 2018]
- Promoting inclusion through social protection [Dec 2016]
- Facebook chat: What we can do to combat social exclusion? [July 2017]
- Launch of the 2016 Report on the World Social Situation, 30 November 2016 [Nov 2016]