EESC side event on civil society and the 2030 Agenda

TUDCN spoke at the HLPF2017 side event “Civil society as a driver for change towards sustainable societies - models empowering civil society” organized by the Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), organised on 18 July 2017. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica gave opening remarks.

Commissioner Mimica stressed that without civil society participation, the 2030 Agenda is void, particularly SDG 17 on Partnerships. Mr Mimica pointed out that 65 to 70% of SDG targets cannot be achieved without the involvement of civil society. He advocated for strong participation of civil society in voluntary national reviews, and for the inclusion of civil society in more partnerships. The new European Consensus on Development fosters civil society as SDG implementing partners, he added.

Joan Lanfranco, TUDCN Advocacy Officer, presented the trade union engagement strategy on 2030 Agenda and its different elements, such as the trade union SDG pamphlet and the Trade Union Focus on SDGs, launched at the HLPF2017. Lanfranco stressed that decent work and social dialogue are drivers of sustainable and inclusive development, and trade unions are crucial partners to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

Achieving the SDGs is both a challenge and an opportunity for trade unions. A challenge due to its complexity and to the financing gap, and thus the role attributed to the private sector in development. The championing of the private sector by donors and international organisations needs to be matched with specific engagement and assessment criteria, to ensure their interventions lead to sustainable development and are hold accountable, particularly when ODA is at stake. Moreover, the SDGs are an opportunity for workers and trade unions as it offers yet a new access point to policy-making and for engagement with national governments, in order to achieve decent work for all through 2030 Agenda commitments.

The Trade Union Focus on SDGs, with profiles for VNR countries such as Sweden, Italy, Belgium, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil and Zimbabwe, have highlighted the relevance of the 2030 Agenda for trade unions, and mobilised national organisations around SDG implementation by providing evidence, collecting relevant data and analysing official and parallel indicators to contrast national reporting in New York. Lanfranco added that this advocacy tool will be used before, during and after the HLPF, to show the full picture of progress towards SDG implementation, and expose governments when they are lagging behind.

Further information: