Income inequality gap at its highest in 30 years: UN official

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Opening remarks by Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC, at a Special Meeting on Inequality. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Seven out of 10 people in the world today live in countries where income inequality has risen, in many cases, to the highest level in 30 years.

That's according to the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) during a special meeting on inequality on Wednesday.

The UN global goals for 2030 have promised to "reduce inequality and leave no one behind".

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

More than half of the total wealth of the world is owned by the top earners known as the 1 per cent, said the ECOSOC President Oh Joon.

Gaps in income and wealth have consistently widened around the world, even though poverty rates have generally declined in every region of the world, he noted.

These disparities have been made worse because of the unequal access to basic human needs like food, water and healthcare.

Here's Mr Joon.

"Around the world, women in rural areas remain three times more likely to die in childbirth than those in urban areas; persons with disabilities are up to five times more likely to incur catastrophic health expenditures; and children born in poorer households are less likely to complete their primary education. When we see them, we all realize that something may be seriously wrong; that If such trends continue, our communities might suffer social and political instability, often leading to the emergence of extremism.

400 million people lack basic health care services around the world, according to UN figures.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'08''

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