Social Justice in an Open World

The Role of the United Nations

image of Social Justice in an Open World

The present publication seeks to provide an overview and interpretation of the discussions and debates that occurred at the four meetings of the Forum for Social Development held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, within the framework of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development.



Are international justice and social justice politically obsolete concepts?

There have been increases in various types of inequality, changes in the orientations of United Nations pronouncements on matters of justice and development, and a shift in the international language. Words such as “equity”, “equality” and “redistribution” have largely disappeared from mainstream United Nations documents, as have the words “compassion” and “solidarity”. The term “social justice” appears only once in the Millennium Declaration. Further, the closing of the development gap between developed and developing countries is no longer a mobilizing objective. What are the reasons for the weakening of these once powerful ideas? Is it a temporary decline linked to the current global political configuration, or is it a manifestation of profound societal changes? Have the people of various regions, in particular the poor and the middle class, lost interest in equity and justice, or does the apparent change in the spirit of the times simply reflect the domination of a new international upper class?


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