‘There is growing evidence and recognition of the powerful and corrosive effects of inequality on economic growth, poverty reduction, social and economic stability and socially-sustainable development’ according to the latest report on the world social situation, published by the United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of UN DESA.
The report also warns that ‘popular discontent has grown and trust in governments is dwindling …. as people believe they are bearing the brunt of crises for which they have no responsibility’.
Published by the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of UN DESA, the report places special focus on policy and disadvantaged social groups, in addition to examining the consequences of high inequality. “Much can be learnt from those countries that managed to reduce inequality even under an uncertain and volatile global environment,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s Under–Secretary-General. “The international community can play a role in providing support to policies that help reduce inequality.”
The report gives special attention to the disparities that are experienced by five specific social and population groups – youth, indigenous peoples, older persons, persons with disabilities and migrants – and also illustrates how such disparities intersect with and reinforce one another.
The report illustrates that growing inequalities can be brought to a stop by integrated policies that are universal in principle while paying particular attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. It reminds world leaders that, in addressing inequalities, policy matters.
‘The report sets the context for the forthcoming first report of The Global Observatory for Social Work and Social Development, which will be published in July 2014 at the world conference in Melbourne, Australia’ said IFSW Secretary General Rory Truell. This first report will build on earlier work with IASSW and ICSW on The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. The report will illustrate how social work can play a crucial role in promoting equalities’, Dr Truell continued.
‘All the academic and practice evidence known to social workers shows that highly unequal societies are socially and individually damaging. IFSW is determined that these social work insights will be brought to world attention and that we will support those working for a more socially just world’, Rory Truell concluded.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) works closely with governments and stakeholders to help countries around the world meet their economic, social and environmental goals.
The report is available for free download in English.
See also the Global Agenda website.