The new post-2015 priorities - a mix of forward and backward steps

In March 2014, the United Nations published 19 focus areas, as the basis for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) negotiations.
Ahead of a new round of discussions in May, the list of priorities has been updated.

There are now 16 focus areas. Neither decent work nor social protection are a focus area.

From the onset of the negotiations,the ITUC called for Decent Work and Social Protection to be Sustainable Development Goals. For the time being, they are targets... within many goals.

Where is Decent Work?
Decent work remains in the working document. As part of the focus area on economic growth, employment and infrastructure. And in several important areas such as gender equality and poverty eradication.

And Human Rights?
A step forward is the reference in the new draft to the protection of the rights of all workers, including migrant workers, in compliance with International Labour Organisation fundamental rights at work.
BUT the human rights based approach to development is still not fully and adequately captured across all focus areas.

Where is Social Protection?
The text includes very positive language: the implementation of nationally appropriate social protection measures including floors, with focus on coverage of the most marginalized.
BUT only one mention.

And Free and Quality Education for all?
Trade union representatives were glad to see the increasing number of references to free education and to education beyond primary education in the new draft.

Despite shortcomings, the current draft is still a major step towards sustainable development, full of ambition and adopting a holistic approach.
But ... how much of the ambition of the draft will remain in the final document?

The next session of the Open Working Group will take place between 5th to 9th May. You can follow this blog or @TUDCN_rscd for updates