TUCA TUDCN regional meeting: “The SDGs are more relevant than ever and trade unions are part of the solution”

The webinar brought together representatives of UN agencies and trade unions from Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss the work of trade unions in the Americas and their vision for the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The virtual meeting took place on 30 and 31 March 2023 and was focused on the trade union priorities for the ECLAC Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, with special emphasis on the potential of the SDGs as a tool for assessing the progress of governments in advancing the 2030 Agenda and the resources they need to implement active employment, care and social protection policies.

Trade unions are calling for a new social contract with SDG 8 at its core. In Chile, for example, this call is being responded to by introducing the concept of decent work in the constitutional reform process, while in Venezuela, trade unions are taking part in the implementation of the United Nations Cooperation Framework in the country. The members of the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network if Trade Union Confederation of the Americas also highlighted the crucial role of social dialogue in establishing meaningful consultation processes on the SDGs and the urgent need for trade unions to play a more prominent role in development policy.

During the high-level discussions held as part of the webinar with the ILO, ECLAC and the UN Development Coordination Office, the participants highlighted the urgent need for a long-term perspective to expedite the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean, with special emphasis on decent work and a just transition, to address the many challenges facing the region, such as the pandemic, low economic growth, poverty, informal employment and rising unemployment rates, in an efficient manner. ECLAC recognised trade unions as an irreplaceable actor in any agenda for change, and the complementarity of trade union priorities and the 2030 Agenda. The ILO and the UN Development Coordination Office, for their part, acknowledged the importance of trade unions having a more structured dialogue with the UN system at country level, so that their priorities are not only reflected in the Cooperation Frameworks but in all the processes promoted by the various agencies.

The event concluded with a strong message about the growing relevance of the SDGs and the role of trade unions in taking them forward: “The SDGs are more relevant than ever and trade unions are part of the solution”.

Consult the report of the meeting and other materials of the meeting (in Spanish)