Addressing Inequality in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

By Brendan Welsh

The Post-2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities hosted a side event yesterday to brief various ambassadors and representatives of NGOs on the Consultation and High-level Meeting that took place in Copenhagen in February 2013. At the event, several panelists offered their answers to the question; how might inequalities be addressed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda?

Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, said, “It is inevitable that some of us here are focused on just one of the millennium development goals, but whether it’s economic development, environmental protection, or social development, all of the goals are interconnected, and they all require the promotion of equality in all areas.” He added, “We have to get away from the trickle-down idea of development, where you start by tackling the easy problems, then get to the harder problems in harder to reach areas. That is not cost-effective. In fact, per dollar, you get the best results when you start in the worst areas, since where the needs are greatest, the results are greatest.”

Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Acting Executive Director of UN Women, said, “We often hear the phrase ‘leave no one behind’, but we must think along the lines of ‘take everyone forward’ when we are engaged in ending inequality.” She noted that while her organization’s specific task is to work on gender inequality, “We see our endeavor as situated within the larger mission of ending all inequality.

After all, 2 billion people live below the poverty line, consuming 1% of the world’s resources, while the richest 1 billion people consume 72%.

All of the panelists touched on the idea of data revolution, wherein organizations collect data from social media outlets and other on-the-ground sources. Mr. Lake referred to the “democratization of development,” offering UNICEF’s use of text messaging to distribute mosquito nets, and send out disease-prevention tips as examples.

You can click here to see other articles I have written on the post-2015 development goals. Please pray for wisdom, discernment, determination, resources, and success for all those individuals working towards bettering our world.

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