UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday asked a UN commission to work toward inclusive and equitable economic growth and sustainable development so as to eradicate poverty.
"I encourage the commission to emphasize the imperative of accelerating inclusive and equitable economic growth and sustainable development, including full, productive employment and decent work for all," Mohammed told the Commission for Social Development, a body under the UN Economic and Social Council.
"Progress in these areas will contribute to reducing inequalities within and among countries." she said.
Progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty, in providing access to schooling and health care, in promoting the empowerment of women, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons and indigenous populations. However, the drop in extreme poverty remains uneven across regions, within countries and between various social groups, she said.
Furthermore, while more than 1 billion people have risen above the 1.90-U.S. dollar-a-day poverty line since 1990, millions slide back into poverty annually because of economic, environmental, health or other shocks, she said.
Of particular concern are the persistently high levels of poverty and deprivation among women and children, indigenous groups, older persons and persons with disabilities, she noted.
Unemployment and underemployment among the world's young people remain unacceptably high, and many are working in vulnerable jobs with low pay and poor conditions. Inequality between and within countries remains high and has worsened in some cases, she said.
The overarching objective of the 2030 Agenda -- to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions -- requires that all countries promote the empowerment and participation of people living in poverty and vulnerable situations, said Mohammed.
"It is imperative that we promote social policies and protection that ensure the benefits of globalization and economic growth are shared by all and lift all boats."
Safety nets are crucial, as are measures to raise household incomes and promote decent work, she said, noting that globally, 45 percent of the people who need social protection have access to just one social benefit, while the rest -- some 4 billion people -- go without.
"This is unacceptable -- and underscores the challenge we face in upholding our promise to leave no one behind."