Challenging Inequalities


UNESCO Headquarters Paris, 16-17 December 2019


“Challenging Inequalities”

Representatives of national, regional, and international non-governmental and civil society organizations and members of NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO gathered in Paris, France, 16-17 December 2019, on the theme “Challenging Inequalities to build a Just and Peaceful Society.”

During this two days forum, participants engaged in structured dialogues with stakeholders from the Civil Society organizations, local government councils, academia, legislator, students and youth, on the fundamental drivers of inequalities such as the entrenched cultural narratives that undermine fairness, tolerance, and inclusion; failure to invest in and protect vital public goods such as education and natural resources; unfair rules of the economy that magnify unequal opportunity and outcomes; unequal access to government decision making processes and resources; persistent prejudice and discrimination against women, people with disabilities, and racial, ethnic, and caste minorities, the widening digital gap etc

The forum also looked at how unequal power relations are exacerbating injustices, poverty and suffering which create conditions of widening inequalities especially for those furthest behind.

In addition to be being a space for sharing of experiences, good practices and grass-root actions to tackle inequalities, the forum also identified 10 key conditions and actions to strengthen inclusion at all levels, which can be found in the Outcomes of the NGO Forum on Challenging Inequalities.

In the outcomes of the Forum highlighted innovative and crosscutting issues to tackle inequalities: democratic participation, non-formal education, and took into account the digital divide, the realities of the climate emergency, and others while emphasizing the important role that we play in bringing these debates to fruition and integrating them in our respective fora.

It also make a strong emphasis for the strengthening of the Civil Society spaces available to NGOs within the UN system, underling the importance of partnership towards achieving the 2030 Agenda, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Our sincere appreciation to the NGOs, UNESCO Secretariat especially the Unit for Civil Society partnerships and the Program Sectors (Education, SHS, SC, CI and the Gender Division) and all those who contributed in different ways to the planning and eventual organization of the forum.

Special thanks also to all the interveners for their valuable inputs in our conversation and finally to the Les Vives Voix Choir directed by Catherine Boni for the harmonious Musical accompaniment.

In challenging inequalities to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, “Leaving No One Behind” is not slogan but task we must collectively achieve.

Richard Francis APEH

Co-Pilot, 11th International Forum of NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO

Executive Secretary, NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee

Outgoing Secretary General IYCS

ENG: Outcomes of the NGO Forum on Challenging Inequalities

FR:  Résultats du Forum des ONG sur le défi des inégalités FRE (2)

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