Trade Unions at the 2017 ECLAC Forum on Sustainable Development

The Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) took part, through the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network, in the first Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development. The event was organised by the Mexican government and was held in Mexico City from 25 to 28 April 2017, under the auspices of the ECLAC.

The aim of this ECLAC Forum, which will meet on a yearly basis, is to establish a regional mechanism for the implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda, adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and which establishes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. ) and 169 targets to be met by the year 2030.

The Forum also provided an opportunity for the presentation of the Annual report on regional progress and challenges in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean and its annex on financing. It was recommended that the Mexican government, in its capacity as the president of the Forum until 2018, present these updated documents, along with the countries’ conclusions and recommendations, as a regional contribution to various mechanisms for global monitoring, including the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which meets every July in New York.

The trade union delegation, made up of representatives from eight countries (Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil), and civil society representatives experienced major difficulties in playing a full part in the process, owing to the lack of clarity regarding the criteria and mechanisms for participation in the event. For the trade union delegation, much clearly remains to be done in terms of the consultation and participation mechanisms for future meetings. The trade union movement as a whole is insisting that steps be taken ahead of future forums to provide scope for debate and exchanges between the trade union movement, social movements, civil society and government representatives – participation mechanisms that are fundamental to any kind of participatory process. It is essential that all ECLAC forums on sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda ensure an institutional space for dialogue, which should also cover the process of planning and establishing the general shape of the forums themselves. The trade union movement remains committed to coordinating the contributions of workers within the framework of this process, to ensure its successful implementation.

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