Inequalities Task Team (2019-2023)
- Co-leads: Ms. Aparna Mehrotra (UN-Women) and Mr. Craig Mokhiber (OHCHR)
- Reporting to: High-level Committee on Programmes
The HLCP Inequalities Task Team (ITT) (2019 to 2023) had been established following HLCP’s 38th session (October 2019) to reinforce the implementation and operationalization of the shared United Nations system framework for action on equality and non-discrimination and strengthen the United Nations system’s leadership, coordination and impact on Sustainable Development Goal 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries).
The Inequalities Task Team held its first meeting in February 2020 and subsequently organized a virtual workshop in March 2020 on the key challenges and opportunities to be addressed. The workshop informed its time-bound workplan comprising measures to strengthen coordination to combat inequalities, promote joint analysis and advocacy, and intensify knowledge-sharing and management by drawing on the breadth of its members’ mandates and the depth of their expertise.
In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, which laid bare the impacts of inequalities, in October 2020 the ITT produced 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 combatting inequalities is a central part of the UN system's response to COVID-19.
Furthermore in 2020, task team members reinforced common system-wide approaches and messaging on the issue of inequalities by contributing to the preparatory session on “sharing economic benefits, addressing inequality within and among countries, decoupling growth from environmental degradation, and achieving sustainable development for future generations” held in June 2020 ahead of the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development. To strengthen the United Nations system’s collective engagement, visibility and impact on reducing inequalities, UN entities received key tools and policy references on inequalities, including the CEB framework and the operational guide for country teams on leaving no one behind developed by UNSDG. Specific support to United Nations country teams was provided by integrating inequality issues into the guidance on economic transformation provided by UNSDG in line with the CEB framework.
At the 2021 High-level Political Forum, the Inequalities Task Team held a virtual side event on “building back fairer: equality in a post-COVID world” on 8 July where an expert panel examined current threats to societies, economies and human rights and discussed how to create a more equal, inclusive and sustainable way forward.
In December 2021, the ITT released a policy brief entitled “Tackling inequalities in public service coverage to ‘build forward better’ for the rural poor” focusing on tackling rural inequalities in public service coverage.
At the request of HLCP, in 2022 the Inequalities Task Team developed a foundational reflection paper analyzing the state of inequalities in the world, reviewing the UN system’s mandates to act decisively to address inequalities and produced a set of recommendations. With the “Prioritized action plan to increase the impact and visibility on reducing inequalities”, prepared by the task team in 2023, small groups of entities committed to taking forward specific action items to deepen the United Nations system impact on inequalities.