HLPF 2021: Unions call for an SDG8-driven recovery and resilience

Representing the global labour movement, Eric Manzi – Deputy Secretary-General of ITUC Africa – addressed the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development during the session dedicated to the revision of the Sustainable Development Goal 8 on decent work and sustainable economic growth.

During the session, which took place on Tuesday 7 July, Eric Manzi brought forward trade unions and workers’ call for a New Social Contract and an SDG8-driven recovery and resilience.

Manzi stressed that the SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. are today more relevant than ever in the wake of the dramatic impact of the pandemic. And in this perspective, he underlined that Goal 8 is particularly key to build a human-centred recovery and has a strong leverage effect on the other Goals.

For trade unions and workers, an SDG8-driven recovery and resilience requires the following five actions:

  1. Investing in climate-friendly jobs, with Just Transition measures negotiated through social dialogue with social partners.
  2. Scaling up social protection as to reach universal coverage. This would also include establishing a Global Social Protection Fund to support the poorest countries in this respect.
  3. Strengthening 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. Ensuring these policies can be financed. This can be done by strengthened development cooperation, debt relief, progressive taxation, as well as ending tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
  5. Establishing a new model of global governance that is inclusive, multilateral and brings social partners on board through social dialogue.

On global governance, Manzi added: “This is the only way to achieve global resilience. And right now, the moral imperative of global governance is to ensure universal access to Covid-19 vaccines”.

To conclude, Eric Manzi reiterated the international trade union movement’s commitment to keeping engaging with UN Member States to live up to the challenge of building a world that leaves no one behind.

Eric Manzi’s intervention can be watched here