UN / WORLD SOCIAL REPORT

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21-Jan-2020 00:02:34
Inequality is growing for more than 70 per cent of the global population, exacerbating the risks of divisions and hampering economic and social development. But the rise is far from inevitable and can be tackled at a national and international level, according to World Social Report 2020 released today. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / WORLD SOCIAL REPORT
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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DATELINE: 21 JANUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1. Tilt up, exterior, United Nations

21 JANUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Various shots, dais
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“At a time when the consequences of our deeply unequal world play out in daily headlines, this report shows that the inequality challenge is a global one and it’s intimately connected to other pressing issues of our time, including technological change, climate change – the climate crisis, international migration, and urbanization.”
4. Wide, shot, dais
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“The report underscores that these mega-trends can be harnessed for a more equitable and sustainable world or they can be left alone to divide us further. Despite its immense promise, technological change creates winners and losers, and its rapid pace brings additional new challenges. The report finds little evidence to suggest that recent technological changes will make work itself obsolete, but they are pushing wage inequality upward. To be sure, these new technologies can open tremendous opportunities in sectors such as health and education but their potential to reduce inequalities is being thwarted by the persistent digital divides and policies that gear their benefits towards those on the top.”
6. Wide shot, dais
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“The fact that this technological digital divide exists, virtually condemns those on the wrong side of the divide to fall further and further behind. Now, we don’t mean to imply that nothing is being done, the problem is that it is not being done fast enough. And we have two problems, on the one hand, there is the lack of the digital infrastructure that’s needed that allows people to use the internet, but there is also the lack of access to the internet in the sense of the devices that allow people to have that access.”
8. Wide shot, dais
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“The World Social Report highlights the basic building blocks of any comprehensive policy strategy to reduce inequality in all of its dimensions. First, promoting equal access to opportunity for all, regardless of status. Second, ensuring that macroeconomic policies contribute to reducing inequality. Third, strengthening social protection systems which are often the foundation for addressing inequalities. And fourth, tackling prejudice and discrimination.”
10. Zoom out, end of press briefing

STORYLINE:

Inequality is growing for more than 70 per cent of the global population, exacerbating the risks of divisions and hampering economic and social development. But the rise is far from inevitable and can be tackled at a national and international level, according to World Social Report 2020 released today (21 Jan).

At the launch of the report, the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Elliot Harris, said, “at a time when the consequences of our deeply unequal world play out in daily headlines, this report shows that the inequality challenge is a global one and it’s intimately connected to other pressing issues of our time, including technological change, climate change – the climate crisis, international migration, and urbanization.”

The flagship study, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), shows that income inequality has increased in most developed countries, and some middle-income countries - including China, which has the world’s fastest growing economy.

The report looks at the impact that four powerful global forces, or megatrends, are having on inequality around the world: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration.

Harris said the report “underscores that these mega-trends can be harnessed for a more equitable and sustainable world or they can be left alone to divide us further.”

He said technological change “creates winners and losers, and its rapid pace brings additional new challenges,” and “their potential to reduce inequalities is being thwarted by the persistent digital divides and policies that gear their benefits towards those on the top.”

Harris said, “the fact that this technological digital divide exists, virtually condemns those on the wrong side of the divide to fall further and further behind.”

He said, “on the one hand, there is the lack of the digital infrastructure that’s needed that allows people to use the internet, but there is also the lack of access to the internet in the sense of the devices that allow people to have that access.”

The Assistant-Secretary-General said the report “highlights the basic building blocks of any comprehensive policy strategy to reduce inequality in all of its dimensions.”

These include, promoting “equal access to opportunity for all, regardless of status,” ensuring “that macroeconomic policies contribute to reducing inequality”, strengthening “social protection systems which are often the foundation for addressing inequalities”, as well as “tackling prejudice and discrimination.”

The study shows that the richest one per cent of the population are the big winners in the changing global economy, increasing their share of income between 1990 and 2015, while at the other end of the scale, the bottom 40 per cent earned less than a quarter of income in all countries surveyed.
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