#Timefor8: the clock is ticking for a New Social Contract         Issue 8 / 2022 -  Sign Up  


“There are no jobs on a dead planet.” The trade union slogan of 2012 still resonates as sharply and accurately as ever as the world stands at a historic crossroads, with rising poverty levels, soaring inequality and the threat of climate instability.

But these trends are not governed by natural laws. They are man made. And therefore, they can be reversed. As the director of the Financing for Development Office of the UN, Navid Hanif, told trade unions in a recent meeting:The SDGs are not out of reach because it is the policy-making that we chose that will bring us there.”  

Through social dialogue, trade unions must be part of these choices. Social dialogue made a difference in tackling the impact of the pandemic and saving jobs, lives and livelihoods, and it is a powerful game changer to get the SDGs back on track.  

Next week we will be at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and we will tell policymakers and stakeholders that they must work together with workers through social dialogue to strengthen global governance and build a sustainable world.

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At the HLPF, we will bring to the discussion the six demands that workers have for a New Social Contract with SDG 8 at its core, rooted in a gender-transformative agenda:  (1) decent, climate-friendly jobs with just transition; (2) rights for all workers; (3) minimum living wages; (4) universal social protection for all; (5) equality to end all discrimination; and (6) inclusion to ensure the empowerment of developing countries.

The UN has started talking about “rescuing the SDGs”. As development actors in their own right and champions of the SDGs, trade unions are at the forefront of global efforts to achieve the goals by 2030.

At the HLPF we will tell loud and clear that:

 upholding the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining, as well as supporting social dialogue, should become key priorities for governments;

 only a renewed multilateralism that includes workers and is based on social dialogue can deliver a truly sustainable future for all;

we need a new model of global governance to redress the current imbalance of power and uneven distribution of wealth at the international level; and

 inclusive, gender-transformative approaches to development are essential to ensure that no one is left behind.

Social dialogue will design a recovery that works for people and the environment and leaves no one behind!

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  • 5 July Opening of the HLPF and revision of SDG 17
  • 06 July Revision of SDG 4
  • 07 July Revision of SDG 5 and SDG 14
  •  11 July ITUC side-event at the HLPF 
    Will be broadcasted on our Facebook page
  • 11 July Revision of SDG 15
  • 12 to 15 July VNR sessions
  • 15 July Adoption of the Ministerial Declaration
  •  Update as of 22 June  Consult the official draft programme of the HLPF


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With the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of the ITUC and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.