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altThe Virtual Institute joined the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in the launch of its flagship publication September 3.

The report, Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics, highlights that although poverty reduction remains one of the top priorities on the international development agenda, poverty and inequality persist because key institutional, political and social dimensions are left behind when dealing with the problem.

Watch the overview of the report

There is a need for a "human rights-based approach to reach the MDGs," said Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, during a panel discussion following the overview presentation of the report.

The panel emphasized that four main aspects needed to be taken into account in the fight against poverty: the importance of employment with regard to the patterns of growth and structural change; the necessity of comprehensive social policies; the importance of tackling inequalities; and the need for effective and accountable States.

Panelists agreed countries must not only strengthen skills and increase productivity, but must also implement effective social policies to achieve universal rights, as the existence of social classes and gender inequalities lock the poor into poverty traps.

Watch the video on gender inequality

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