Draft Report on Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities Released for Comment

9 January 2013: The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UN Women have released a Draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities. The Draft is based on global public consultations, held from September 2012-January 2013, on ensuring that addressing inequalities remains central in the post-2015 development agenda. Comments on the draft can be submitted until 31 January 2013.

The Draft notes that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) do not tackle entrenched inequalities and structural causes of deprivation, and cautions that, as long as structural inequalities persist, development efforts likely will fall short. The Draft argues for placing equality at the center of the post-2015 framework and adopting a framework based on equality, human rights and sustainability. It recommends addressing mutually reinforcing structural drivers of inequality, and combining universal targets with measures for excluded people. 

The paper includes five sections. “Why Inequalities?” provides an overview of the rationale for addressing inequalities. It addresses structural inequalities, human rights, international, national and inter-country inequalities, equalizing opportunities and the global development framework. “Reproducing Inequalities” discusses economic, social, environmental, political and intersecting inequalities. It stresses the mutually reinforcing nature of these domains, and notes that failures in one area generally undermine progress in other areas. “Unequal lives” considers inequalities related to poverty, gender, minorities and disadvantaged groups and children, as well as spatial inequalities. “Tackling Inequalities” includes a framework for transformative change, and discusses mechanisms for tackling economic, social, environmental and political inequalities. On environmental inequalities, for example, the Draft proposes global action against climate change, inclusive environmental policies, and measures to promote climate change resilience and develop adaptation strategies. This section includes examples of effective policies from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Brazil and Denmark. Finally, “Equalities and the post-2015 framework” proposes a global framework, framework principles and recommendations.

To date, the public consultations on inequalities have included: two panel discussions, in September 2012, on: “Gender equality, environmental sustainability and economic development” and “Inclusive Post-2015 Development Agenda for Children with Disabilities;” an open call for proposals on addressing inequalities, which garnered 250 submissions; and online discussions on: Inequalities and the LGBT Community; Gender Equality; Gender-based Violence (GBV); Inequalities and People with Disabilities; Economic Inequalities; Inequalities and Indigenous Peoples; Inequalities and Children and Young People; Inequalities and Urban Areas; and Inequalities and Minority Groups.

A briefing for UN Member States on the findings of the consultations thus far will be held on 4 February 2013. A Leadership Meeting on Addressing Inequalities, which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 18-19 February 2013, will review the consultation findings and develop a statement and recommendations.

UNICEF and UN Women co-lead the global thematic consultation on inequalities, with support from the Governments of Denmark and Ghana. Inequalities is one of 11 themes being addressed on a global level by the UN Development Group's (UNDG) consultations on the post-2015 development agenda. [Publication: Draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities] [Inequalities Consultation Website]