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Difficulty in Reducing Global Inequality

A high-level segment focused on progress in reducing inequalities within and between countries and shared best practices in inclusive development. Participants emphasized the need for disaggregated data and the political will to ensure that no one is left behind to achieve SDG 10 (reducing inequality), which will be discussed at the July 2019 session of the Political Forum United Nations High Level Panel on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The high-level thematic debate on tackling inequality took place on 14 May 2019 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States. It was one of three meetings organized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the theme of “Prosperity Week”, organized by the President of the United Nations General Assembly. The other two were devoted to commodity markets (May 15) and to international cooperation to fight against ill financial flows Can).

Opening the meeting, UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces observed that, alongside climate change, inequality is the greatest challenge of our generation. She said that in 2018, 26 people had as much wealth as the 3.8 billion poorest people. She said the gap between rich and poor was widening, leading to exclusion and injustice and undermining the fabric of society; if we do not reduce inequalities, we will not achieve the SDGs, “she said.

Espinosa emphasized the need to create structural conditions for the realization of fundamental rights in both developed and developing countries. To this end, it called for expanding access to services, opportunities and resources and promoting universal access to food, land, consumer goods, health care coverage and quality primary and secondary education. She also warned that environmental protection through SDGs 13 (climate action), 14 (life underwater) and 15 (life on earth) “fundamentally depended” on reducing inequalities.

UN Under-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the collective experience has shown that development is not sustainable if it is not fair and inclusive. Considered alongside the broader impacts of globalization and rapid technological change, the growing concentration of income and wealth has led to economic anxiety, exclusion and a loss of confidence in governments and public institutions, Mohammed said. She said that, in order to address inequities, investing in: creating strong data and capacity ecosystems at the national level was essential to ensure that no one was left behind; human capital, which can “correct generations of injustice and inequality”; and infrastructure to promote access to opportunities, technology and innovation.

Ghada Waly, Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity, spoke on behalf of the Group of 77 and China (G-77 / China). She said reducing inequality was essential for poverty eradication, social cohesion and peacekeeping. She emphasized the need for sound policies rooted in national realities.

Mahmoud Mohieldin from the World Bank spoke of barriers to reducing inequalities, such as labor market changes and other disruptions caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, forced migration due to conflict and fragility, and hazards. climate. However, he said that SDG 10 is still possible if all stakeholders “mobilize quickly” and act together. He said the “center of gravity” is shifting eastward as developing countries like China and India grow economically.

The imperative of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind is unlikely to be realized in the current global political context, he said, and proposed: legal reforms to remove obstacles to opportunities; tax reforms associated with actual public expenditures; and formalize the informal economy. He also stressed the need for political will and leadership, stating that “inequality is ultimately a political choice”.

Abdoulaye Mar Dieye of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) highlighted the challenge of addressing the structural causes of inequality, especially as societies become more “extreme”. He stated that UNDP was careful to use markers “do not leave anyone”

Source: SDG Knowledge Hub.