Development is being derailed by growing inequalities: new UN report

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Babatunde Osotimehin

A new UN report finds that growing inequalities will undo significant gains in health and longevity made over the past 20 years.

To sustain these gains, the United Nations ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report argues that governments must pass and enforce laws to protect the poorest and most marginalized.

That, the report points out, includes adolescent girls and women affected by violence as well as rural populations.

The Executive Director for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says there have been great strides such as the drop in maternal mortality and the increase in access to education for women and girls.

But, Mr. Babatunde Osotimehin warns, these successes are not reaching everyone equally.

"The report reveals in stark detail that persistent inequalities and discrimination threatened to derail development. In many countries and regions, progress is limited to the wealthy, with enormous numbers of people being excluded from the process and the benefits of development. More than half of the absolute gains in global income from 1998 to 2008 went to the richest 5 percent, and none went to the bottom 10 percent."

The report says development gains from the past 20 years cannot be sustained unless governments tackle the inequalities that hurt the poorest and most marginalized.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’38”

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