UN Development Goals: High Ambition, but Implementation Weak

The ITUC has welcomed the ambitious and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to be adopted by the UN General Assembly this month, but is concerned at the absence of clear and coherent obligations on member states to implement the agreed goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include important pledges to end poverty and reduce inequality, promote decent work, social protection and gender equality, as well as provision of quality education, public services, infrastructure and access to justice and the rule of law. Commitments to implement the Goals through financing and progressive public policy are however lacking, and means to ensure government accountability in implementing the UN agenda are weak and voluntary.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “The trade union movement fully supports the high ambition of the SDGs, but the lack of concrete commitments to ensure the Goals will be met is deeply disappointing. The world cannot continue on a ‘business as usual’ path. Social development is crucial to addressing deep and growing economic injustice and to make it possible to transition to a low-carbon future through industrial transformation that sustains livelihoods and the very future of the planet. World leaders need to make a Global Deal to turn lofty aspirations into meaningful action.”

Susan Hopgood, President of Global Union Federation Education International, will convey the trade union message to the UN in an address to the UN General Assembly today.

“Governments need to promote social dialogue, involving employers’ and workers’ organisations as a means to move the agenda forward at the national level. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining must be central pillars of national agendas to ensure sustainable social development. Trade unions are important development actors, and have a vital contribution to make. Wherever the private sector is involved in financing, or receiving taxpayer support, for SDG initiatives, this must only happen where it is in the public interest and where it is subject to proper accountability criteria, including respect for ILO standards,” added Burrow.

For more information:

See Sharan Burrow’s video address to the UN Human Rights Council:


Equal Times: http://www.equaltimes.org/it-s-time-to-stop-the?lang=en#.VgT-d5dCb3g