HLPF 2023: Trade unions outline workers’ recommendations for sustainable development in African, least developed and landlocked developing countries

The delegate of the ITUC, Olivier Ouedraogo (CSB, Burkina Faso), presented trade unions’ proposals for sustainable development in African, least developed, and landlocked developing countries at a dedicated session held on 13 July in the frame of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).

The meeting provided an occasion to share and discuss policies and measures to improve the lives of the populations in Africa, the least developed countries, and landlocked developing countries.

These countries have been disproportionately affected by the multiple crises the world is grappling with, and have had a significant setback in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In his speech, Olivier Ouedraogo presented trade unions’ main recommendations to support the sustainable development of African, least developed, and landlocked developing countries. He put forward a range of crucial financial measures to expand their fiscal space, such as reviewing their debt situation, increasing official development assistance, and enhancing international coordination to combat tax evasion and tackle illicit financial flows.

Significant decent work deficits in these countries are a major impediment to their sustainable development: "We must strengthen the structural transformations of our countries by focusing on creating decent jobs and ensuring living wages. Ensuring decent work is directly linked to increased value addition in production and contributes to stronger and better-adapted social protection systems," said Ouedraogo.

In conclusion, Ouedraogo echoed the call of Goal 8 to decouple growth from environmental degradation and emphasised the vital role of public investment in advancing sustainable development with just transition measures: "We need increased investments in public infrastructure while ensuring minimal environmental impact. Advancing reforms to increase the share of industry and industrial employment and implementing just transition industrial policies through social dialogue are also important," he said.