The United Nations Secretary-General has described inequality as the defining challenge of our era – one that the Covid-19 crisis has thrown into even greater relief. This new policy brief from the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) Inequalities Task Team – a collaborative effort of 22 UN system entities to strengthen the UN system’s leadership, coordination and visibility on reducing inequalities – describes how the Covid-19 crisis is widening disparities between people. It puts forward high level policy guidance and concrete recommendations for UN system entities and their leadership, as well as governments and the UN Country Teams that support them, to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to ‘build back better’. The brief sets out pathways leading from the current state of crisis towards transformed economies and more equitable, gender just societies, that can allow everyone to enjoy the full range of their human rights, without discrimination.
The Inequalities Task Team workplan is organized under four key outputs: i) Establishing the Inequalities Task Team and developing a shared workplan and ways of working, ii) Developing joint analysis and advocacy, iii) Strengthening knowledge collection and management and iv) Improving coordination of joint actions, including for operationalization at the country level.
In the context of the COVID-19 crisis which has laid bare the impacts of inequalities, the ITT has prioritized developing a short policy brief on “COVID-19, inequalities and building back better”, to strengthen the UN’s common messaging and joint analysis and to ensure that inequalities is a central part of the UN’s response to COVID-19.