World Social Report

Photo: © UN India

World Social Report 2025: Building the foundations of strong social contracts (forthcoming)

Over the past 30 years, the world has made significant strides in reducing extreme poverty, and average levels of wellbeing have reached historical highs. Still, progress has been uneven, and people are feeling increasingly insecure. There is a growing rift between people’s needs and the policies in place. As a result, many people feel left behind and do not see the system working for them.

Societal transformations are outpacing policies and institutional frameworks needed for social progress in the twenty-first century. Sustaining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals requires breaking the vicious cycle of insecurity, low trust and shrinking policy space. Adequately financed social policies are crucial but, alone, will not be sufficient. Governments and the international community must critically assess how economic and social policies are falling short—or even furthering insecurity.

The forthcoming World Social Report 2025 argues that Governments play a pivotal role in rethinking the foundations of the social contract, focusing on three core principles: providing security and protection; fostering social cohesion; and promoting solidarity. The role of Governments is also crucial in redefining the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders—from employers and workers to community leaders at the national level, to multilateral institutions at the global level—for a more just, equitable and resilient future.

Expected launch early 2025.