Trade unions present their key asks at the OECD DAC SLM

Trade unions participated in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) annual Development Assistance Committee’s Senior Level Meeting (DAC SLM), which was held in Paris on 22 February 2019.

During the meeting, trade unions engaged in the discussions, focused on finding innovative solutions to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and presented their key priorities for the OECD DAC.

The Deputy-Director of the ITUC’s Economic and Social Policy Department, Paola Simonetti, based her intervention on the discussions that took place the previous day between the OECD DAC and the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). She quoted the chairs conclusions from that meeting, which outlined that every private or public finance for development should be bound by the same criteria of transparency, accountability and results assessment.

Any attempts to put together principles on private sector engagement without this basis would not serve the purpose to implement the SDGs.

- Paola Simonetti to the OECD SLM audience.

Simonetti stressed the importance for the labour movement to base Responsible Business Conduct on due diligence, risk assessment, contribution to income generation and to domestic capital at country level. She also insisted that the creation of decent jobs should be the key parameter for any engagement and assessment of private finance contribution to the SDGs (Download our publication: Aligning private sector investments in development with the SDGs).


Call for New Social Contract

On the previous day, 21 February, trade unions participated in the OECD DAC - LAC Dialogue on Development Cooperation to discuss ways of strengthening policy coherence for sustainable development.

During her intervention, Paola Simonetti stressed the importance of the SDGs in the trade union agenda and the special centrality of SDG 8 (Decent work and sustainable economic growth) within the 2030 Agenda. For trade unions, the 2030 Agenda is much more than a set of objectives. It is about policy changes and global shifts that the world needs urgently as “70 per cent of the world’s population has no social protection at all. 300 million workers in emerging and developing countries earn less than 1.9 US dollars a day. Less than 60 per cent of workers have formal contracts and 81 per cent of all countries in the world have violated the right to collective bargaining”.

For trade unions, the 2030 Agenda is much more than a set of objectives. It is about policy changes and global shifts that the world needs urgently.

- Paola Simonetti

In the light of these facts, Paola Simonetti reiterated the call of trade unions for a New Social Contract between governments, business and workers. The Contract should include a floor of a universal labour guarantee for all workers. Implementing a New Social Contract would make sure that that rights are respected, jobs are decent with minimum wages and collective bargaining, social protection is universal, due diligence and accountability are driving business operations, and that social dialogue ensures just transition measures for climate and technology.



Related resources

- Policy Statement: Trade Union Priorities for the OECD Development Assistance Committee
- Advocacy Brief: Aligning private sector investments in development with the SDGs
- LAC-DAC Dialogue 2016: Co-Chairs’ Summary
- Sharing views on new trends and approaches for the future of development co-operation: development in transition and multi-stakeholder partnership
- Triangular Co-operation on the road towards BAPA +40
- Financing for Sustainable Development – scaling up resources for better results
- The role of development co-operation in addressing migration challenges