Pakistan has underscored the need for addressing the multiple crises – including the COVID-19 pandemic, rising conflicts and climate change – that have exacerbated existing inequalities among and within nations. “The worsening inequality has in fact accelerated since the global financial crisis at the end of the first decade of this century,” Ambassador Aamir Khan, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, told the Commission for Social Development — one of the eight functional commissions established by the UN Economic and Social Council since 1946 to advise and assist it in carrying its work. Speaking in the general debate, the Pakistani envoy said one particular Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) – reduced inequalities – has not only lacked progress but has, in fact, experienced a regression in recent years. The gap between rich and poor, both between and within nations, is growing, despite unprecedented global gains, he said. “The poor are still poor; the rich are much richer.” Emphasizing that just 26 people own a full half of the world’s wealth, he said the poly-crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, rising geopolitical tensions and climate change have only exacerbated those existing inequalities and vulnerabilities. “It is today the pandemic of inequalities that are playing havoc with people’s lives,” he remarked. While richer nations have injected around $17 trillion to stimulate their economies, developing countries are struggling to find even a fraction of the $4.1 trillion they are estimated to require to recover and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.