Widening Inequality; a Universal Issue

How the unprecedented gap between the haves and have nots stands in the way of a sustainable future

Chapter 01


©UNDP Afghanistan/Rob Few

The 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encompass human rights, climate and economic growth and lay out a clear path to a sustainable future.

We are making progress, but results are mixed. And all these goals — which represent our last hope to stop runaway climate change — face a huge obstacle in the form of growing inequality.
©UNDP/Karin Schermbrucker for Slingshot
The New


Inequality is a paradox of our times; in recent decades innovation has exploded, poverty has gone down in every region of the world and emerging markets are booming.

Yet inequalities persist and grow, intersecting and reinforcing each other and perpetuating intergenerational poverty and exclusion.
©UNDP Tuvalu/Aurélia Rusek

Inequality has jeopardized economic growth and created a serious barrier to eradicating poverty, the bedrock of the 2030 Agenda.

But inequality is not natural or inevitable.

It stems from policies, laws, cultural norms, corruption, and other issues that can be addressed.

Share Content
©UNDP/Mohammad Asad
Up Next:

Defining inequality

Take Action