Dialogue of the Executive Secretaries of the Regional Commissions with the UN General Assembly Second Committee, 18 October 2021

“Rising global inequalities: turning promises into action”

76th session of the UN General Assembly Monday, 18 October, 10 AM – 1 PM EST

The 2030 Agenda with its core principle of leaving no one behind and the inclusion of Goal 10: reducing inequality within and among countries, has placed the pursuit of equality at the heart of development policymaking and, in so doing, made addressing inequalities integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. While globalization has benefitted overall global growth, it has also contributed to structural inequalities between countries and within countries.

Despite some regional variations, the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these inequalities, posing threats to realising a more equitable and sustainable world. Some of the inequalities observed during the early phase of the COVID-19 crisis have not persisted, while others carry the risk of leaving lasting legacies.

There is however increasing recognition that it is not only the impact of the pandemic that is differentiated and unequal but also the recovery, with the bulk of the fiscal stimulus response concentrated in the developed world, making the need for addressing inequalities within and between nations and regions more urgent than ever

Key objectives of the Dialogue will be to:

  1. share latest data, insights and regional perspectives on the economic, social and environmental impacts of the pandemic, in particular on inequality and the new ways in which it has been exacerbated, such as through austerity measures, unequal access to vaccines, job losses, as well as racial, gender and other forms of discrimination;
  2. raise awareness on innovative thinking and policy responses to build forward more inclusive and sustainable societies and to transform economies to reverse underinvestment in social protection systems and accelerate achievement of the SDGs;
  3. reflect and exchange views on opportunities and implications of emerging developments in financing development needs such as the New Global Tax Agreement, allocation and recycling of unused Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), as well as in areas such as digital inclusion, climate adaptation and resilience, etc.; and
  4. showcase how the Regional Commissions, building on their convening and advocacy power, normative capacity and the knowledge of the countries they serve, continue to work toward tackling inequalities/ global asymmetries, thus helping to lay the basis for sustainable long term recovery in the regions.


Moderator’s Notes:  Ms. Rosa Malango, Director, Regional Commissions New York Office

Concept Note