ESCAP Reports Rising Inequality in North and Central Asia
UN Photo/Gill Fickling
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ESCAP reports that inequality is rising in the Russian Federation and in countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, and calls on countries to adopt inclusive development strategies.

It identifies the region's vulnerable groups as: women, youth, an aging population, disadvantaged rural populations, and migrants.

North and Central Asian countries will be invited to share their successes in reducing inequalities during the 2019 session of the Asia and Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development.

6 August 2018: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) reports that inequality is rising in the Russian Federation and countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, following a fall in commodity prices. The report calls on countries to adopt inclusive development strategies and undertake tailored measures to empower vulnerable groups, including social protection and better access to infrastructure and services.

The report titled, ‘Inequality in the Era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ documents the situation of vulnerable groups in the region. They include: women, who are underpaid and not well represented in public decision making; youth, who are more likely to be unemployed; an aging population in some countries of the region, which places pressure on pension systems; disadvantaged rural populations with poor access to public services; and migrants in precarious working conditions.

The report’s recommendations draw on, inter alia, an October 2017 expert group meeting on inequality in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The recommendations emphasize the need to leave no one behind in the quest to fully achieve the 2030 Agenda. They highlight the need to: collect disaggregated data on vulnerable groups; strengthen and diversify the economy through market integration, infrastructure development and financial inclusion; and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of social institutions, including the education system, labor market and social protection schemes.

ESCAP is preparing for the sixth session of the Asia and Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD), in 2019, and will invite North and Central Asian countries to share their successes in eradicating inequality and progressing toward the SDGs. APFSD 2019 will convene on the theme of “empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” [ESCAP Press Release] [Publication: Inequality in the Era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development]

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