On September 25-27, 2015 world leaders adopted a new ambitious agenda for sustainable development, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, ensure prosperity and equality for all, and tackle climate change by 2030.

Discussions on the 2030 agenda highlighted the importance of social inclusion and equality in the new development framework. In particular, there is global consensus on the idea that economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty. With rising inequalities, there is a need for immediate global action. This call for action requires universal policies that consider the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, with particular attention to exclusion based on gender, race or ethnicity. Social exclusion based on identity prevents some groups from accessing markets, services, and spaces, creating deep pockets of chronically poor groups that remain out of reach by national policies and programs (World Bank, 2013). Globally, development discourses have, accordingly, reflected on shared priorities to engage into effective and responsive strategies and policies that can direct societies towards pathways of prosperity, in particular among disadvantaged regions, populations and social groups.

The social inclusion framework sets the stage for an ambitious development agenda that is committed to leaving no one behind. This requires not only political will for reforms but also initiatives that advance the understanding of social exclusion and the poverty and social impacts of policies. Filling existing knowledge gaps is essential for developing effective and appropriate policy actions that (i) are tailored respectively to the social, cultural and political contexts, and (ii) respond to the needs and priorities of the poor and vulnerable. Governments often face complex challenges and trade-offs that require in-depth knowledge about the potential impacts of policies. Even well-designed policies may have unintended impacts that adversely affect vulnerable groups of the population.

This Global Conference is being organized to suggest pathways for effective policies to address these global challenges.