The UN Secretary-General released a report on regional trends on poverty and inequality.
The report also presents regional perspectives on global migration and provides an update on regional preparations for the intergovernmental process towards a global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.
July 2017: In preparation for the 2017 High-level Segment (HLS) of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the UN Secretary-General released a report on regional perspectives on efforts to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality as well as on regional perspectives on global migration as a contribution to the intergovernmental process towards a global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.
The report, titled ‘Regional cooperation in the economic, social and related fields (E/2017/15)’, is a contribution to the HLS’s thematic discussion on ECOSOC’s annual theme, ‘Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions through promoting sustainable development, expanding opportunities and addressing related challenges.’ The segment aims to effectively assess progress in eradication of poverty, and provide further policy guidance on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (no poverty) and related Goals.
On poverty and inequality, the report states that poverty is unevenly distributed between and across regions, with 50.7% of the world’s poor in sub-Saharan Africa, where the absolute number of people in poverty has remained nearly constant since 2002. The report observes that this trend is a “notable geographical shift” from 1990 when half of the world’s poor lived in East Africa and the Pacific, which today has 9.3% of the world’s poor. Latin America is the region with the highest overall level of socioeconomic inequality, although the region has reduced income inequality over the past decade. Africa is the second most inequitable region in the world.
The report asserts that “understanding and addressing inequality is integral to reducing global poverty.”
The report asserts that “understanding and addressing inequality is integral to reducing global poverty.” While efforts to address inequality historically focused on income disparities, the report observes there is growing recognition of inequality as a multidimensional phenomenon that requires an integrated, rights-based approach. The report provides a summary of inequality in each region that highlights key causes of inequality and challenges.
The report describes efforts to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality through: promoting structural change and diversifying economies; establishing effective tax systems; improving labor markets; strengthening social protection systems; promoting environmentally sustainable and resilient economic development; promoting access to high-quality education; promoting gender equality; promoting the rights and inclusions of persons with disabilities; decreasing territorial inequalities; mainstreaming poverty reduction measures into national development plans; and raising government capacity in data collection on poverty and inequality.
On migration, the report highlights regional, subregional and intraregional migration trends to support a knowledge base for the global compact on migration process, ahead of the planned regional consultations, which are taking place in August 2017. The report finds a “strong tendency” towards regional and interregional migration, with migrants primarily migrating to other countries in their region. The report presents trends for each region, identifying the main forms and reasons for migration among the regions.
The report highlights existing processes and mechanisms on migration at the regional and sub-regional levels, from the Arab Regional Consultative Process on Migration to efforts by the Economic Commission on Africa (ECA), which is working to identify relevant policies and tools to assist member states in implementing and measuring migration-related SDGs.
On regional consultations for a global compact on migration, the report describes plans for regional consultations, which will result in Chairs’ summary reports. The report explains that each region will develop knowledge products to provide regional perspectives on six identified themes. Both the consultations and knowledge products will serve as inputs to the global stock-taking meeting in Mexico in 2017.
The report also provides an update on the regional commissions’ support for implementing the 2030 Agenda at the regional level and efforts to promote coherence at the regional level through Regional Coordination Mechanisms.
The report further addresses enhanced cooperation among regional commissions, noting the Executive Secretaries of the regional commissions have met five times. The report states these meetings contributed to coordinated positions by the regional commissions in support of the 2030 Agenda, the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III) and the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). [E/2017/15] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Regional Migration Processes] [SDG Knowledge Hub Policy Brief on Regional Priorities for HLPF]