HLPF 2021: Asia-Pacific unions point out SDG 8 deficit as major obstacle to region’s sustainable development

All India INTUC Organising Secretary, Chandra Shekar spoke on behalf of the ITUC Asia Pacific at the HLPF thematic session dedicated to the findings and recommendations from the Regional Fora on Sustainable Development held during the month of March 2021.

Chandra Shekar stressed that the region has lost 140 million jobs in the wake of the pandemic, and that it is the second worst region in the world in terms of workers’ rights according to The ITUC Global Rights Index 2021.

“We believe that a human-centred recovery will only happen if we fix the broken labour market. And SDG8 is particularly key,” he said in reference to the leverage effect that Goal 8 has on achieving the 2030 Agenda and the other SDGs.

Therafter, Shekar presented the five main elements of the New Social Contract that workers demand:

  1. Investing in climate-friendly jobs.
  2. Universal social protection, with a Global Social Protection Fund to support the poorest countries.
  3. Equality through promoting employment opportunities for women and youth, investing in care, paying equal pay for work of equal value and minimum living wages, and eliminating gender-based violence in the world of work.
  4. Adequate measures to finance these policies, such as debt relief, and progressive taxation.
  5. Inclusive multilateralism that brings social partners on board and ensures universal access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Watch Chandra Shekar’s intervention on twitter | facebook | UNWebTV

Watch the full session (UNWebTV)

Read the article on unions’ participation in the Regional SDG Fora