United Nations - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
on Monday urged the international community to tackle social and
economic inequalities to achieve sustainability and avert future
“If inequalities continue to widen, development may not be
sustainable. That is why equity is emerging as a central plank in
discussions on the post-2015 development agenda,’’ Ban said.
The secretary-general, who spoke at the UN General Assembly’s
thematic debate on inequality, stressed the importance of reducing
inequalities at a time when the world was being affected by a series of
He named some of the changes as economic instability, the impact of climate change and political unrest in many regions.
"Societies where hope and opportunities are scarce are vulnerable to upheaval and conflict.
"Social and economic inequalities can tear the social fabric, undermine social cohesion and prevent nations from thriving.
"Inequality can breed crime, disease and environmental degradation and hamper economic growth,’’ he said.
Ban said the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) had been “remarkably” successful but pointed out that
progress had been uneven.
He, however, underlined the importance of the post-development 2015
agenda to address these inequalities and promote shared prosperity.
Agreed upon by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, the MDGs set
specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality,
child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS and malaria
The post-2015 development agenda is expected to build on the progress achieved by the MDGs.
"We need solutions to the economic and financial crises that will benefit all," he said.
Ban advocated “an inclusive approach to sustainable development;
greater efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; more investment
in health, education, social protection and decent jobs – especially
for young people.’’
The General Assembly President, Vuk Jeremic, also noted that the
achievement of the universal transition to sustainability required a
greater commitment from countries to bridge the divide between the
‘haves’ and ‘have- nots’.
Jeremic urged Member States to work together to tend to the needs of the increasing many that had been left behind.
He warned that refraining from addressing this issue would bring
about an era of global discontent that would have profound consequences
across the world.