UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

ILO addresses decent work deficits at forum to review SDGs

The International Labour Organization is playing an important part in a meeting reviewing progress on six of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In a report, presented at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the ILO is calling for more action on SDG 8.

Press release | 10 July 2019
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GENEVA (ILO News) – Most countries have a long way to go towards achieving inclusive and decent work for all, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report prepared for the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York. The HLPF, held from 8 to 19 July, is reviewing progress on six of the 17 Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) is slowing down in many areas of the world, according to the report, Time to Act for SDG 8: Integrating Decent Work, Sustained Growth and Environmental Integrity.

“An urgent acceleration of efforts is required to bring about transformative change in support of SDG 8 in its three dimensions of sustained, inclusive, and sustainable growth,” the ILO study concludes. The report also argues that SDG 8 lies at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, straddling the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

“This means that failure to make headway on SDG 8 would impede progress towards other Goals, such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, promoting peace, and achieving gender equality,” said Damian Grimshaw, ILO Director of Research. “Conversely, progress on the other SDGs is a precondition for advancing towards SDG 8.”

The report was discussed during the HLPF, at an event on 10 July moderated by the ILO's Deputy Director-General for Field Operations & Partnerships, Moussa Oumarou, with panellists from the International Organization of Employers and the International Trade Union Confederation. The report was officially presented at a side event on 16 July.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder attended the HLPF from 15 to 17 July. He presented the ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work, 2019 to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The Declaration is strongly aligned with SDG 8, calling for a human-centred approach, and saying that shaping a fair, inclusive and secure future of work “is fundamental for sustainable development that puts an end to poverty and leaves no one behind.”

The ILO is playing a major role at the HLPF, whose theme this year is "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality".