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Report on the World Social Situation 2016

Leaving no one Behind: The Imperative of Inclusive Development

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In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders committed themselves to leaving no one behind in pursuit of the eradication of extreme poverty and protection of the planet. Through concerted efforts galvanized by the MDGs, the world has made progress in reducing poverty, but social exclusion persists in both developed and developing countries. At the same time, some countries have been able to effectively promote inclusion even at low levels of income and development. This volume of the RWSS will focus on social inclusion. In particular, it will examine patterns of social exclusion and will assess whether growth and development processes have been inclusive, paying particular attention to the links between poverty and inequality trends, changes in the world of work and inclusion – or exclusion. The report will also highlight policy options to promote inclusive development through social and macroeconomic policies and institutional transformation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

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Policy imperatives for leaving no one behind

In committing to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Member States recognized that the dignity of the human person is fundamental. They are also endeavouring to reach first those that are furthest behind. The fact remains that today, some human beings are condemned to endure short or miserable lives as a result of their origin, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, economic status or because they have a disability. Overcoming the biases associated with these circumstances requires a policy approach that puts human beings at the centre of development, as agreed at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen more than 20 years ago. What is needed is an approach that expands the opportunities to improve people’s quality of life − now and in the future − and protect their rights. An approach which considers economic growth as a means to leave no one behind, rather than an end in itself.

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