The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reflects a consensus on the need to move towards more egalitarian, cohesive and solidarity-based societies, and calls for ensuring that “no one will be left behind” on the road to development. The regional commissions of the United Nations have come together to prepare this report, which synthesizes regional findings and lessons learned in the conceptualization, design and implementation of public policies and programmes oriented towards greater equality.
As this report highlights, inequality includes —but transcends— income inequality and relates to the uneven exercise of rights, unequal access to opportunities and capacity development, and unequal results. Social inequality gives rise to adverse social, environmental and economic consequences, stratified by economic status, age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin or religion. However, social inequality can be successfully addressed and is not an inevitable outcome. Promoting greater equality through adequate social protection, health, education, labour and fiscal policies not only helps to safeguard the economic, social and cultural rights of all people, but also fosters growth, development and greater social justice.