Trade Unions respond to SDGs priority areas

The United Nations published the 19 focus areas which will form the basis of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) negotiations.

The document focuses on employment and decent work for all
Present in New York for the latest round of discussions, representatives of the Worker and Trade Union Major Group highlighted their support for Employment and especially Decent Work for All as a focus area.
Nonetheless, they noted the need for employment and decent work to be better integrated across other focus areas, when relevant.

Where are Human Rights?
Trade Union representatives also expressed their concerns regarding human rights as the human rights based approach is not adequately captured across all focus areas.
Unions reminded Member States that real progress in development is measureable by the degree to which people can enjoy fundamental human rights in practice and effectively exercise democratic participation.

And Social Protection?
Concerns were also raised as to the low priority given to Social Protection. More concrete references to social protection must be introduced in several focus areas.

There is a focus area on Education
But not on free education. Without free education, there can be no development. Workers representatives reasserted how tuition fees and indirect costs of education continue to exclude the most marginalized from quality education.

Trade unions also reiterated their support for gender equality and women’s empowerment and concluded on the need to consider economic growth as a means but not an end to poverty reduction.