UN Regional Sustainable Development Forum in Latin America and the Caribbean: Trade unions push for higher inclusion of workers

Marita González, CGT Argentina, provides an overlook of the work untertaken by the trade union delegation at the UN Regional Forum on Sustainable Development and its Civil Society Participation Mechanism.

During the UN ECLAC Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development (Santiago de Chile, 15-18 April 2024), the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (CSA) played a crucial role in the Civil Society Participation Mechanism (MPSCLyC), ensuring the representation and defense of trade union interests in a diverse and challenging environment.

The MPSCLyC was based on a document (in Spanish) prepared by Marita Gonzalez (CGT, Argentina), incorporating key points from CSA. Fanny Sequeira Mata (Rerum Novarum, Costa Rica) successfully presented these contents, leading to requests for inclusion in the final Civil Society document.

Throughout the Forum, challenges were faced, such as pressure to include a religious group in the MPSCLyC. CSA, backed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), defended the secular nature of the mechanism to maintain its integrity and diverse representation.

On another front, Argentina, presiding over the Forum, omitted its participation due to international conflicts. Despite this, CSA worked hard to maintain the cohesion of the MPSCLyC, removing controversial paragraphs to ensure the continuity of the mechanism and its positive impact on the region.

The position of CSA and ITUC was crucial in maintaining the integrity and relevance of the MPSCLyC, highlighting the importance of active participation of civil society in sustainable development in the region.

In addition to its work in the MPSCLyC, CSA also highlighted key documents produced by ECLAC, such as "Latin America and the Caribbean facing the challenge of accelerating progress towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda Transitions towards sustainability" and the presentation by UN Women on "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Regional Gender Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean. Gender Indicators by 2023".

In summary, CSA’s active participation in the ECLAC Countries Forum was essential to ensure trade union representation and defense of labour rights in the sustainable development process in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its contribution to the MPSCLyC and its commitment to the integrity of the mechanism are outstanding examples of its commitment to social and economic justice in the region.