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UN scribe urge nations to tackle socio-economic inequalities

01 October 2013, 18:30

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 crisis.

“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 significant changes.

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 reduction.

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.



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