Social justice based on the values of fairness, equality and respect for diversity is more important than ever amid a global financial and economic crisis that has significantly increased unemployment and poverty and is straining social integration, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.
“The world's major economies are beginning to emerge from this global downturn,” he declared in a message marking World Day of Social Justice, observed annually on 20 February. “We must ensure that the world's people do so too.”
He called for a major push this year to put countries back on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to slash a host of social ills, from extreme poverty and hunger to maternal and infant mortality, to lack of access to education and health care, all by 2015, calling them one of the United Nation's key means of bringing social justice and development together to benefit the poorest and most vulnerable.
“Social justice is based on the values of fairness, equality, respect for diversity, access to social protection, and the application of human rights in all spheres of life, including in the workplace,” he said. “Let us take this opportunity on the World Day of Social Justice to renew our commitment to this important cause and to recognize that while progress has been made, much more needs to be done. Lack of social justice anywhere is an affront to us all.”