ECOSOC President visits ILO and discusses the implementation of the 2030 Agenda
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On 20 March, the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) received the President of UN ECOSOC, ambassador Shava from Zimbabwe. The chairperson of the Governing Body, ambassador Seidenberger, welcomed the guest and introduced the topic of decent work for sustainable development with regard to the High Level Section discussion on the social dimension of globalisation.
In his opening speech, Shava underlined the central role played by the ILO in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. ECOSOC coordinates the so-called High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the UN in New York. The Council accompanies and supervises UN Member States in implementing the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Every July, it evaluates reports on the progress made by Member States. This year’s evaluation is focussed on the topic “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”.
According to Shava, goal number 8 – decent work and economic growth – is of major importance. Besides, the ILO plays a key role in the implementation of the SDGs concerning poverty, hunger, health, gender, industrialisation, and oceans, on which the HLPF will work in July.
Moreover, ambassador Shava underlined that all UN organisations should be working together within their mandates to reach the SDGs, with coherent and integrated approaches. The ILO has a special responsibility in considering and implementing fundamental rights at work, arising from its tripartite structure and its strong mandate. This view was firmly supported by General Director Guy Ryder. The employers, employees and governments constituting the ILO should develop cooperative design concepts for their future work. These concepts need to be negotiated with all stakeholders. Ryder stressed that only 13 years remain until 2030. Therefore, immediate action must be taken and there is no time to lose.
The following discussion indicated the importance of economic growth, employment promotion and the elimination of unequal distribution of wealth with regard to fighting poverty. With its tripartite structure the ILO has a clear mandate which it fulfils through formulating and implementing international working standards and social standards, as well as through political consulting and technical assistance. Thus, its agenda for decent work lies at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As chairperson of the Governing Body, ambassador Seidenberger will write a summary of the debate, which will be submitted to the HLPF in July together with a report of the ILO secretariat. In this way, the ILO will contribute substantially to the HLPF discussion on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.