UN Summit for the Adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

Fostering sustainable economic growth and transformation and promoting sustainable consumption and production

Remarks by ILO Director-General Guy Ryder at the UN Summit for the Adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (New York, 25-27 September 2015)

Statement | 26 September 2015

The ILO is honoured to join you in celebrating the commitment to a new development era and turning straight away to the pressing task of its implementation.

The coming fifteen years are our chance to demonstrate that we can all work together around common objectives to improve the life of billions of people while taking care of our planet.

Yesterday Pope Francis reminded us that 3 Ts provide a good definition of success of the 2030 Agenda – techo, trabajo and tierra – shelter, work and land. Concerning work he made it clear that he was referring to dignified and properly remunerated work.

No Goal stands in isolation but Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth is at the centre of the overall endeavour.

It is difficult to see how we could lift millions out of poverty and progress the implementation of the Agenda without sustained economic growth. At same time we need to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, generates decent jobs and respects planetary boundaries.

So, successful implementation of the entire 2030 Agenda depends on successful outcomes of Goal 8 with its powerful and transformative combination of growth and decent jobs.

While ambition is the path to success, persistence and determination are the drivers for the achievements.

For its part, the ILO will spare no effort until:
  • we have a world free from child labour and forced labour;
  • young people realize their basic aim of finding a decent job;
  • fundamental labour rights are fully respected and safe and decent working conditions are in place everywhere;
  • until social protection is available to all those who need it; and
  • all women and men have equal access to decent work opportunities.
We will work to promote formalization of work, in particular of medium-sized, small and micro businesses; productivity and sustainable enterprises; to enhance investment in technical and vocational skills in order to equip the current and future generation with the skills they need to find decent jobs. We will seek to ensure that global value chains become vectors of sustainable development.

The ILO stands ready to support Member States in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Our rights-based approach anchored in international labour standards and our tripartite structure and social dialogue, with governments, workers and employers, are valuable assets in this process.

Let us start from the reality that there is not much time left until 2030 and that we can’t afford to fail. The hope and dreams of around 600 million young people who will join the labour force over the coming 15 years will depend heavily on our collective effort to promote decent work for all.