TU-DAC Forum 2023: Trade unions call upon the OECD Development Assistance Committee to back action on social protection and just transition

Social protection and the creation of decent climate-friendly jobs with just transition were the focus of the TUAC and ITUC-led annual forum of trade unions with the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

High on the agenda were discussions on progress towards the 2030 Agenda, to mark the half-way point to its achievement. Following these, trade unions from all continents asked DAC delegates to:

  • Urgently increase financial efforts to reach the UN target of allocating 0.7 per cent of their GNI to development assistance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular emphasis on SDG8 on decent work and SDG10 on tackling inequality.
  • Adopt a DAC recommendation on social protection and commit to an increase in the share of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for social protection to at least 7 per cent of all ODA by 2030.
  • Provide political and financial support to the UN Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions, and back a Global Fund for Social Protection to build social protection in the least developed countries.
  • Champion a socially just transition to climate neutrality at COP28 in Dubai, in the first-ever COP discussions on a Just Transition Work Programme.
  • Support collective bargaining and freedom of association, as pillars of democracy and social cohesion, through development cooperation, noting that social dialogue only represents 0.01 per cent of total ODA.

“Governments need to do a lot more to meet climate targets, deliver on climate finance commitments, and to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Trade unions believe the OECD Development Assistance Committee has an important role to play,” said Veronica Nilsson, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC), who was keen to emphasise that social protection was not a drain on public resources, but rather an indispensable investment. “There is strong potential for joint work between trade unions and the DAC to generate political support for social protection and to mobilise external and domestic resources to fund it,” she said.

Alison Tate, Director of the ITUC Economic and Social Policy Department, stressed that “decent climate-friendly jobs that respect rights and provide living wages are fundamental to fight against inequalities and keep people out of poverty. ODA has a special role to play in promoting investments in decent, climate-friendly jobs with just transition.”

Trade Unions will be participating in the upcoming High-Level Meeting of the OECD-DAC on 15 November and expect Development Ministers of OECD countries to include these priorities in their discussions.

-* For more information, read the report of this meeting