TUCA participates in the Latin America and the Caribbean Forum on Sustainable Development 2019

The Trade Union Confederation of Workers of the Americas (TUCA) was part of the trade union delegation that participated in the Third Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development. The event was held in Santiago de Chile on 22-26 April, 2019. The forum has served, among other things, to promote a dialogue among the countries on different topics related to the 2030 Agenda.

by Daniel Angelim, Trade Union Confederation of Workers of the Americas (TUCA)

Representatives of trade unions of Brazil (CUT), El Salvador (CATS), Colombia (CUT), Chile (CUT), Argentina (CGT and CTA of the Workers) and the fraternal of Uruguay (PIT - CNT) participated in the high-level event that the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Government of Cuba - in its capacity as president of the regional body - organised as part of the regional preparations of teh High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development that takes place every year in New York.

Over 1,000 people, including 153 delegates from 33 countries, 25 of them from the region, in addition to 20 representatives of the agencies, funds and programs of the United Nations and 18 from intergovernmental organisations attended the event.

The ECLAC Forum, which will continue to be held annually, aims to promote a regional space to monitor the implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda, adopted in 2015 by the General Assembly of the United Nations and which establishes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and 169 targets for the year 2030.

Two important points of the ECLAC 2030 Forum were:

  • The adoption of the final document of the Second High Level Conference of the United Nations on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+ 40), held last March in Buenos Aires, and commit to its implementation, together with reiterating the importance of the contribution of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The final declaration of the ECLAC 2030 Forum systematises a series of recommendations and conclusions that will be taken to the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which meets every July In New York.


Institutional monologue instead of inclusive dialogue

The negative point of the forum was expressed in the unitary declaration of the civil society present in it. Its title "Two monologues do not make a dialogue" (in Spanish) perfectly synthesises the criticisms of social movements, civil society organisations and the trade union movement.

The declaration draws attention to the fact that "... this is the third time we have arrived at this Forum and we have found a document agreed only by governments, without real spaces for the effective participation of civil society. Where is the dialogue? ". The document also denounces the constant attacks on democracy and multilateralism in the region: "We are experiencing deep setbacks from the conservative, fundamentalist, privatisation and neoliberal offensive that threatens peace and sustainable development and the recognition of all human rights. We witness daily persecutions, the criminalisation of protesting, the dispossession of lands and territories, the risk of extermination of indigenous peoples and the assassination of leaders and social actors, especially human rights defenders, who are attacked because they defend peace, their territories, and social, environmental, economic and gender justice". The CSA contributed fully to the drafting of this document and to this part of it in particular.

It is clear to the trade union movement that much progress must be made in mechanisms for consultation and participation in upcoming meetings. Collectively, we demand that the next forums be constructed in a dialogued manner and with true active participation of all.

It is a consensus for the trade unions that the ECLAC forums on sustainable development or the 2030 Agenda, have to guarantee an institutional space for dialogue, including for planning and general devising of the forums themselves. Trade unions are committed to delivering the contributions of the workers to this process and we want to contribute to its effective realisation.

- Read the Declaration of the Latin American and the Caribbean CSOs (in Spanish).