CTA-T: To think about the SDGs is to plan for the future

For the Central de Trabajadores Argentinos (CTA-T), the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs cannot be achieved without first tackling the structural inequalities around which they have been designed.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the greatest commitment ever undertaken by states and the international community to build a world with increased well-being for all, a world with greater equality and social justice, seeking to resolve the structural problems in our countries. It is made up of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and 209 indicators that simultaneously and comprehensively cover a range of key issues for the labour movement, social organisations and the community at large, such as the promotion of decent work, the fight for the environment, access to universal health, gender equality or quality education for all.

As part of the Argentine Platform for Monitoring the 2030 Agenda (PAMPA 2030), Argentina’s trade unions, reflect and organise themselves to monitor, provide constructive criticism and to take an active part in building public policies in line with the 2030 Agenda.

At the CTA-T, we are concerned that the idea of sustainable development, a concept coined by the UN, although designed to facilitate the sustainable development of all countries, does not really take into account the realities of the peoples of Latin America. SDG 8, for example, calls for inclusive economic growth. But how does one grow in a world where the most developed states, to protect their own interests, control all the international institutions that are supposed to support such growth? Without a reform of the existing multilateral system that governs the workings of key bodies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the regional development banks, the proposals of the 2030 Agenda will amount to empty words with no grounding in the actual capacity of developing countries like Argentina to take action. Without a structural reform of the multilateral system Latin America will not be able to develop, and inequality in the world will continue to grow.

As trade union, we understand that to achieve economic development, nationally, we need to change the production matrix, to integrate the various sectors, to train, to adapt and to innovate. Development cannot be imported, it has to be created in the country itself. That is why we consider it essential to support more vigorous and self-sustained industrialisation, which will accelerate innovation and technical change.

Building this future requires state intervention in the economy. A state with a greater or lesser level of ties to private activity, that ensures the development of national science and technology systems, and promotes innovation and the incorporation of imported knowledge into our national assets.

Without these steps, we will not be able to ensure the sustainability of Argentina’s economy.

On a regional level, Latin America needs a major paradigm shift in the way we see our capacity for development and the action we take to achieve it. We must think of a 2030 Agenda that is in line with the reality of our region, that is adaptable to the needs of each country and its socioeconomic structure, and that is free from external pressures or interventions.

As part of our work within PAMPA 2030,the CTA-T is a strong advocate of a 2030 Agenda that is conceived for all countries and that takes on board the distinct social, economic, cultural, environmental contexts, etc., that define and characterise each nation. Failing this, we will not be able to tackle the structural inequalities that prevent developing countries from fully implementing the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.

Find more information regarding the efforts of trade unions to support workers’ rights in Argentina and their representation within the context of the 2030 Agenda on the ITUC website and its Global Rights Index. Additionally, the online media Equal Times offers comprehensive coverage, shedding light on the ever-evolving dynamics of workers’ rights in Argentina and worldwide.