TUDCN Asia-Pacific meeting: the role of unions in putting the SDGs into action

Trade unions in Asia-Pacific participating in the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network (TUDCN) met in Bangkok on 22-23 January. They discussed the latest trends regarding the progression of SDGs implementation in the region, and the role that unions can play to accelerate it.

The world is not progressing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it should to fulfil all the 17 Goals by 2030. Despite being one of the regions that has progressed the most towards its sustainable objectives, Asia-Pacific is still lagging seriously behind its own objectives. Even more disturbing is the fact that the region is even regressing on Goal 8, which is about decent work and sustainable economic growth.

In the light of this troubling situation, 13 union representatives from Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines had the opportunity to meet and exchange with high-level stakeholders on unions’ role in putting the SDGs in action.

From the United Nations, the meeting counted with the participation of Neil Buhne (UN Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific), Tomoko Nishimoto (Regional Director for ILO Asia-Pacific), and Katinka Weinberger (Chief of environment and development policies at UN-ESCAP).

Other contributors were Datuk Bardan (Secretary General of the Confederation of Employers in Asia-Pacific) and Haidy Ear-Dupuy (Senior Social Development Specialist with the Asian Development Bank).

It’s #timefor8 in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific suffers from severe decent work deficit, and campaigning on SDG 8 is a clear priority for unions in the region. The International Trade Union Confederation Asia-Pacific (ITUC-AP) has identified SDG 8 among its priorities in its Action Programme 2019-2023.

To support union’s work on SDG 8 at national level, the ITUC proposes the following tools:

  • The global campaign It’s #timefor8 – the clock is ticking for a New Social Contract.
  • SDG 8 Index that the ITUC is building up. The Index is a tool that monitors how SDG 8 is carried out in 143 countries across the world, covering 97.2% of the world population. For this, the tool measures 50 indicators organised in four main pillars: 1) Economic well-being; 2) Labour market efficiency; 3) Employment vulnerability; and 4) Labour rights. The initial results show that economic well-being is not enough to ensure decent work. There is no automatic trickle down effect. In fact, the state of labour right standards in a country does not depend on the economic condition of that country.



For more information

This event has received the support of the European Union