Promote Equality

Focus 12: Promote Equality


Inequalities within countries can be socially destabilizing and also have negative consequences for economic growth. Inequalities among countries can have negative effects on global solidarity and international cooperation to address shared challenges. Some areas that could be considered in addressing inequality among social groups within countries include:

  1. eliminating discrimination in laws, policies and practices, including those between women and men;

  2. reducing inequalities among social groups, including economic, social, political and environmental inequalities;

  3. empowering and inclusion of marginalized groups, including indigenous peoples, minorities, migrants, refugees, persons with disabilities, older persons, children and youth;

  4. ensuring equality of economic opportunities for all, including marginalized groups;

  5. strengthening social protection systems, and social protection floors as relevant;

  6. promoting differentially high per capita income growth at the bottom of the income distribution;

  7. working towards inclusive societies that respect and promote cultural diversity;

  8. developing and using evidence based, high quality, timely, disaggregated data and impartial, internationally established methods for evaluating progress; and

  9. appropriate means of implementation*.

Some areas that could be considered in furtherance of greater equality between and among countries through high and sustained growth in developing countries include:

  1. promoting an open, rules-based, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system;

  2. curbing illicit financial flows;

  3. phasing out harmful subsidies;

  4. pursuing policies for planned, well managed and legal migration;

  5. reducing the transaction costs of remittances;

  6. developing policies to mitigate brain drain; and

  7. progress in internal conditions of development, education, inclusive economic growth, sustainable industrialization, infrastructure, energy and relevant means of implementation.


  • Concerns were voiced by many about the wide and in some respects widening inequalities in the world, both within and between countries, which pose a risk to social cohesion.

  • Experience shows that political space for inequality reduction can be created.

  • Inequality can be addressed through affordable access to quality education, social protection, health care, as well as productive and remunerative employment opportunities. Policies supportive of entrepreneurship and small-scale enterprises can also enhance opportunities for the poor, including poor women.

  • Social equity requires that vulnerable groups obtain equitable access to opportunities, basic services and participation in social, economic and political life. In this regard, persons living with disabilities merit particular attention.

The above was taken from the United Nations Sustainability web site:


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