How to Tackle Inequality, Realize Human Rights and Achieve SDG 10
Event Title: FIGHTING INEQUALITY: Time to be Bold. How to Tackle Inequality, Realize Human Rights and Achieve SDG 10
Co-organizers: Oxfam, Fight Inequality Alliance, Center for Economic and Social Rights
Co-sponsored by: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Public Services International, Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation
Location: Ford Foundation, 320 East 43rd Street, New York. RSVP required
Date/time: Thursday 18th July, 9-11am (breakfast and coffee will be served)
Across the world, extreme economic inequality is out of control, threatening human rights, undermining our economies and corroding our politics. Oxfam data shows that 26 people now own as much wealth as the bottom 3.8 billion people combined. Extreme economic inequality is fundamentally undermining the fight against poverty. It is also inextricably linked to other inequalities such as gender inequality, trapping women in poverty at the bottom of the economy, and it is driving climate change, where the richest people in the richest economies remain wedded to a carbon economy while the poorest people are paying the highest price.
There is widespread agreement that inequality is one of the critical and most urgent challenges of our times. The 2030 Agenda recognizes this in Goal 10 (reducing inequality between and within countries) and in the pledge to Leave No One Behind. It is evident that progress on Goal 10 is deeply interrelated to the achievement of many other Goals.
A growing number of countries are taking action to address inequality – by, for example, taxing wealth (Goal 10, 17), increasing both the spending on and the quality of education (Goal 4) and striving for universal health care (Goal 3), and more. Yet progress in achieving Goal 10 continues to be undermined by national and international economic policies which are promoting austerity and fostering a race to the bottom in workers’ rights and in corporate taxation. Simultaneously, progress is lagging in areas such as providing good quality universal and gender-responsive public services free at the point of use, as well as universal social protection. Generating the requisite political will for policies to robustly tackle inequality and combat corporate and elite capture are urgent tasks which social movements at the national and international levels are increasingly taking on.
The event will present a range of perspectives on progress and challenges towards achieving Goal 10. Speakers will be asked to reflect on some concrete proposals for necessary policies and mechanisms at both the national and international levels, including shaping the creation of a multi-stakeholder global forum on inequality. Participants from different regions and communities (trade unionists; feminist economists; human rights advocates; development and tax justice advocates) will share challenges, examples of good practices already in place, and how governments, international institutions, civil society and social movements can contribute. Viewpoints from grassroots activists in a number of countries on how extreme inequality affects them will also be presented (via video).
• Peggy Hicks, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
• Njoki Njehu, Fight Inequality Alliance
• Chiara Mariotti, Oxfam
• Irene Ovonji Odida, Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation
• Rosa Pavanelli, Public Services International
• Moderator: Ignacio Saiz, Center for Economic and Social Rights
Contribution to the HLPF:
This side event sits under the theme of this year’s HLPF, “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” It will focus particularly on Goal 10, “Reduce inequality within and among countries,” discussing concrete proposals on how to advance progress at the national and global levels, including specific suggestions for the HLPF. The discussion and the concrete proposals will explicitly touch on linkages with the other goals reviewed at this year’s HLPF, in particular Goal 8, Goal 16 and Goal 17.
This event will bring together perspectives from policy makers, multilateral institutions, academics, trade unions, and civil society organizations and grassroots groups. Rather than a conventional panel format, the Chair will ask each panelist some targeted questions, including asking them to reflect on some concrete proposals on how to advance progress in achieving Goal 10 and tackle inequality at the national and global level. Then the session will be open for discussion and Q&A with all attendees.