The ILO at Work: Results 2014-2015

The ILO, UN coherence and the 2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, both agreed on in 2015, are a major achievement by the world community to establish a new development paradigm and integrated rights agenda. SDG 8 – “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” – is a centrepiece of the SDGs by which the international community has recognized the centrality of decent work to sustainable development. Several targets under other SDGs address decent work-related targets, for example SDG 1.3 (social protection floors), and 4.5 and 4.6 (technical and vocational training). Implementing this Agenda is now a central objective of the ILO’s activities for the next 15 years.

This wide integration of decent work across the 2030 Agenda is the result of constructive and sustained engagement by the ILO and its constituents in the many processes leading up to the Sustainable Development Summit in New York of September 2015. The ILO hosted a high-level meeting of heads of state and government, ministers, CEOs, senior UN and IFI officials, and key media at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. The Member States Group of Friends of Decent Work proved instrumental in the process of government negotiations in the so-called open working group throughout 2015.

Youth employment is a major concern. The ILO is already active on the ground and within the UN system: the recently launched Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, a multi-agency partnership led by the ILO, provides an example of the potential for coherent system-wide efforts on SDG targets 8.6 and 8b.

I count on your energy, your leadership and your creativity, to realize change and sustainable development. The United Nations wants to partner with you."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the ILO, 14 June 2014
The ILO’s End of Poverty Centenary Initiative is an effective platform to bring together significant areas of the ILO’s work that contribute to the implementation and achievement of the 2030 Agenda. It matches the 2030 Agenda, which states that “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development”.

Building on the decent work – 2030 agenda nexus, the ILO expects a significant number of countries to make the promotion of decent work central to their approach to preparing inclusive growth strategies. This would imply a broad ranging analysis of opportunities and barriers as a foundation for the design of integrated policy packages. Other countries may feel that they have already identified particular priorities and may be looking for the support of the ILO and other partners, for example, in shaping a youth employment strategy. These demands are emerging now and the ILO will need to be agile and flexible in its support to attain the ambitious and transformative 2030 Agenda.