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2005 Report on the World Social Situation

The Inequality Predicament

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The Inequality Predicament

The 2005 Report on the World Social Situation: The Inequality Predicament was launched on August 25. The Report sounds alarm over persistent and deepening inequality worldwide, focusing on the chasm between the formal and informal economies, the widening gap between skilled and unskilled workers, the growing disparities in health, education and opportunities for social, economic and political participation.

The Report has been introduced by Mr. Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General and Mr. Johan Schölvinck, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, DESA on Thursday August 25, 2005.

The 2005 Report on the World Social Situation (RWSS) will focus on the international aspects of inequality. As emphasized by the ten-year review of the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, there has been uneven progress in many areas of social development (e.g., access to health and education), with important regression in others (e.g., inequality and social integration). The analysis of the underlining causes for this state of affairs highlights several issues, among which the reduced emphasis received in the decade since Copenhagen in the committments made during the World Summit on social development especially in the areas of equality, equity and social justice stands out.

Actual trends in inequality and the changing nature that inequality itself has acquired in the recent decade call for a more in-depth analysis. Thus the main assumption of the RWSS 2005 is that issues of equity and inequality has acquired such importance nowadays that it renders a difficult task to strengthen the development agenda without first addressing the segmentation of society that, among other reasons, rising levels of inequality have produced.