Claude Akpokavie (ILO-ACTRAV) at the 3rd EU Policy Forum on Development

Claude Akpokavie, Senior Specialist in Workers’ Activities at the ILO’s Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), spoke at the 3rd EU Policy Forum on Development, which took place on 17-18 March 2015.

Mr Akpokavie participated at the panel session on Post-2015 & Financing for Development, together with Ms Sally Nicholson, on behalf of Concord Beyond 2015 Task Force, Ms Aura Saldana, Mayor of Sabana de la Mar (Dominican Republic) and Mr Frederick Muia, from the International Organisation of Employers.

He stressed the need for the SDGs’ to focus on decent work and social protection for all. He particularly stressed the importance of social dialogue as a Means of Implementation (MoI) of the SDGs. These elements are currently missing in the EC Communication “A Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015”. "Social dialogue is the missing gap", said Akpokavie, “but this is the basic cornerstone to provide democratic governance and to tackle inequalities”.

He explained that the global production has increased, though at the expense of a rising wage inequality. While 10% of the richest enjoy 30-40% of the total global income, the poorest 10% only benefit from 2%. That is why collective bargaining and social dialogue should be a key issue in the MoI and should be enshrined in the SDGs. Social dialogue provides a more stable environment for workers, he added.

On the involvement of private sector in development, he advocated for companies to abide to international binding regulations, and not only to voluntary initiatives. Companies should ensure that health and safety standards are respected in the workplace. Mr Akpokavie also said that markets need rules, otherwise it can be distorted and create inequalities. Moreover, workers should be able to organise and benefit from collective bargaining, living wages and extended social protection. He also made a pledge for tax justice, including mechanisms as the financial transaction tax, alongside with accountability effectiveness and fight against corruption.

See EC Communication “A Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015” and Trade Union inputs to it.