Inequalities based on income, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, religion and opportunity continue to persist across the world, within and among countries. Inequality threatens long-term social and economic development, harms pov-erty reduction and destroys people's sense of fulfilment and self-worth. This, in turn, can breed crime, disease and environmental degradation.
Most importantly, we cannot achieve sustainable development and make the planet better for all if people are excluded from opportunities, services, and the chance for a better life. Despite progress in some areas, income inequality continues to rise in many parts of the world.
In today's world, we are all interconnected. Problems and challenges, be they poverty, climate change, migration or economic crises are never just con-fined to one country or region. Even the richest countries still have com-munities living in abject poverty. The oldest democracies still wrestle with racism, homopho-bia and transphobia, and religious intolerance. Global inequality affects us all, no matter who we are or where we are from.
Reducing inequality requires transformative change. Greater efforts are needed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and invest more in health, education, social protection and decent jobs especially for young people, migrants and other vulnerable communities.
Within countries, it is important to empower and promote inclusive social and economic growth. We can ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of income if we eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices.
Among countries, we need to ensure that developing countries are better represented in decision-making on global issues so that solutions can be more effective, credible and accountable.
Governments and other stakeholders can also promote safe, regular and responsible migration, including through planned and well-managed policies, for the millions of people who have left their homes seeking better lives due to war, discrimination, poverty, lack of opportunity and other drivers of migration.