Dialogue on Inequalities 2015
The Dialogue on Inequalities took place in Istanbul on 21-22 January 2015. It brought together representatives of UNDP and partner organizations from some two dozen countries, to focus on issues of inequalities in the developing and transition economies of Europe and Central Asia.
Key emphases were on developing a deeper understanding of the causes, trends, and natures of inequalities in this region, and the design and implementation of appropriate policy and programming resources—particularly in the context of emerging post-2015 development frameworks.
Global concerns about inequalities are growing, and for good reason.
High and growing inequalities are increasingly understood to undermine prospects for sustainable development through a multitude of channels. Inequality isn’t new; what is new is the attention it’s getting, particularly in terms of exploring possibilities for moving from rhetoric to policy responses.
However, global narratives on inequalities and how best to address them have not yet fully connected with the transition and developing economies of Europe and Central Asia.
This is partly because of the region’s post-socialist heritage, which left relatively equal (compared to other developing countries) distributions of income, and relatively broad access to social services, as well as relatively small gender disparities. Unfortunately, there are worrying signs that these advantages are being lost—and that problems of inequality and vulnerability are growing and converging with those of other regions. Issues of labour market exclusion and employment are particularly pressing in many European and Central Asian countries—as are challenges of addressing this exclusion without further depreciating the region’s vulnerable natural capital.