Latin American Regional Forum on Sustainable Development: Key trade union demands reflected in governments’ final recommendations

The Trade Union Development Cooperation Network (TUDCN) of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) took part in the Sixth Meeting of the Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development held by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) from 24 to 28 April in Santiago de Chile.

The TUDCN delegation to the Forum was composed of the TUCA sustainable development secretary, Kaira Reece, the general secretary of the CTRN of Costa Rica, Fanny Sequeira Mata, and Marita González, a member of the International Relations Secretariat at the CGTRA of Argentina.

The delegates’ hard work contributed to ensuring that the recommendations drawn up by the governments at the end of the summit reflected key trade union positions such as the urgent need to promote decent work, reduce informal employment, invest in social protection services and achieve gender equality.

During her contribution to the SDG 7 roundtable on affordable and clean energy, Kaira Reece stressed that a just transition of production systems must be part of the implementation processes of all the agreements adopted, being recognised as part of the workers’ and affected communities’ right to decent work with social protection safeguards that take on board the impact of climate policies and leave no one behind.

ECLAC analysis converges with trade union studies

During the opening session of the Forum, the executive secretary of ECLAC, José Manuel Salazar Xirinachs, presented Halfway to 2030 in Latin America and the Caribbean: progress and proposals for acceleration, which reports that the Covid-19 pandemic and the avalanche of crises it triggered around the world have further slowed the already weak progress towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. The report reflects what the trade union movement had already confirmed in its 2022 and 2021 studies on the impact of the pandemic in the region.

Other events linked to the Forum

In the days leading up to the ECLAC Forum, the trade union delegation took part in the Civil Society Forum, in which the trade union movement leads the Workers’ Group. The delegation’s participation ensured that the Civil Society Mechanism’s statement included key trade union messages such as the call for a new social contract and its positions on SDGs 6, 7, 9, 11 and 17, which will be under review at this year’s High Level Political Forum (10-19 July, New York).

During the ECLAC Forum, the trade union delegation also met with ECLAC’s executive secretary to discuss the relevance of trade unions in accelerating progress on the decade of action to deliver the SDGs in Latin America and took part in the presentation of the 2023 Labour Overview at the ILO Chile offices. The event was held with the tripartite participation of employers, government and CUT-Chile.