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This year’s European Development Days focused on fighting inequalities. More than 8,000 participants debated inequalities in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind' was the theme of the 13th edition of the European Development Days (EDD) organised by the European Commission, which took place in Brussels, Belgium in mid-June 2019. 

For two days, participants debated successes and failures in addressing inequalities in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The conference theme refers to SDG10: Reduced Inequalities, although it also touches on other Goals.

The event hosted more than 8,000 participants from 140 countries world-wide, representing 1,200 organisations from the development community, including Heads of State or Government, leading experts, key influencers and young leaders. 

Thematic events of the EED 2019 were structured around the three main themes “Why inequalities matter for sustainable development”, “Understanding the structural causes of inequalities” and “Working together better through more effective policies to address inequalities”.

Inequality still impeding sustainable development

Despite the real progress that has been made, inequality is still a major impediment to sustainable development, limiting life chances by restricting access to everything from education and healthcare through to energy and sanitation. 

For example, an estimated 19.9 million children still do not receive the required three doses of the DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccines during their first year of life.

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