Trade unions demand jobs, social dialogue and better involvement in SDG implementation at the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

Trade unions have been very involved in the preparation of the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development(6-7 march, Geneva) and managed to include key workers’ asks in the discussions between governments and civil society actors.

Trade unions participated in the CSO Preparatory Forum held on 6 March, where they presented the SDG country reports from Italy (Marco Corsi, UIL), Latvia (Natalia Preisa, LBAS) and Greece(Christina Theochari, GSEE) . These presentations showed the added value of having trade unions engaged in governments’ plans for the implementation of the SDGs and putting forwards concrete proposals to accelerate actions towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.

The governments’ Forum was also an opportunity to raise trade union priorities related to the SDGs under review this year – Goals 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17. Susan Flocken, director of the European Trade Union Confederation on Education (ETUCE), participated in the Forum’s roundtable that reviewed progress in Europe on SDG 4 (education). She called for investing in inclusive education and lifelong learning, improving teachers’ working conditions, and promoting social dialogue on education and training systems.

Further, Giovanni Casale, policy advisor at the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), spoke at the roundtable focused on data and statistics for sustainable development. Casale presented the ETUC Sustainable Growth & Decent Work Index(#EU_SDG8i), which assesses the implementation of Goal 8 in Europe and contributes to policy proposals at both the European and the national level

As a result of trade unions’ advocacy, workers’ demands were reflected in the official CSO Statement that was presented at the government’s Forum The statement reaffirms that “recovery and resilience plans must promote decent work by: investing in decent, climate-friendly job creation, including in the care economy; establishing minimum living wages and equal pay; extending social protection coverage; ending gender-based violence and harassment at the workplace by ratifying and implementing ILO Convention 190; and promoting social dialogue. "