HLPF 2018 – Day 4

On 12 July 2018, trade unions were at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2018, at the UN headquarters in New York.

Regional engagement

Day 4 of the HLPF saw a plenary discussion on the role of the UN regional commissions in the process. Trade unions have been engaging, notably by their participation in the Regional Forums on Sustainable Development (RFSDs). However, the exact role of the RFSDs, their engagement modalities and the concrete ways in which they feed into the HLPF remains only vaguely determined. In view of the review of the HLPF (as described in Day 1), this session aimed to collect input to strengthening and prioritising the work of the regional commission.

The space for trade unions to engage has been well set up in the Asia-Pacific region. While recalling the gravity of the situation in the region and the role of the ILO in addressing it, trade unions highlighted this experience, with a view to reproducing it in the other regions. The full statement is available here and in the video below:

Trade unions also attended a side event organised by the permanent mission of Ghana, entitled Synergies and Financing Options for Effective SDG Implementation. It featured speakers from the UN regional commissions. Scott Foster, Director of the UNECE Sustainable Energy Division mentioned the need for a Just Transition (without referring specifically to any initiatives).


Day 4 saw the review of Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Julius Cainglet, Vice-President of the Federation of Free Workers (Philippines), was lead discussant for this session. In his speech, he highlighted the need for a just transition, for the enforcement of adequate health and safety standards as well as paths to regulating profit. The full speech is available here and in the video below:

Spotlight Report

Trade unions also attended a discussion with the authors of the Spotlight Report. It assesses the systemic barriers to achieving the 2030 Agenda, as well as concrete steps to addressing them. It is essential reading for all hoping to gain a better understanding of the issues that should be centre stage at the HLPF.

Further information: