ILO fosters South-South cooperation on decent work and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The workshop brought together tripartite constituents from six Arab States to exchange country experiences to integrate sustainable development goals, decent work and employment into the national policy planning processes.

BEIRUT (ILO News) –  With decent work at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ILO Regional Office for the Arab States and its International Training Centre (ITC) have held a workshop to support the integration of decent work standards into the development policies of governments as well as workers’ and employers’ organizations. The workshop focused on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 8 for decent work and economic growth, SDG 1 for the elimination of poverty, SDG 10 for reducing inequalities, and SDG 17 to promote partnership – with centrality on decent work in achieving this agenda in the Arab States. Several key findings and messages on decent work contributed to the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) . The AFSD outcome report is then submitted to the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)  which will also review SDG8 in July 2019.

ILO Regional Director for the Arab States Ruba Jaradat, opened the workshop by recapping the regional challenges of unemployment, gender inequality, informal employment, and working poverty. “The challenges facing the Arab states make it important to develop clear, coherent plans to achieve the SDGs, taking into account the interrelatedness of the goals,” Jaradat emphasized. “With this workshop we hope to promote the realization of the decent work goals in the 2030 Agenda through a truly inclusive process that ensures the participation of our social partners, civil society, as well as all relevant stakeholders.”

The two-day dialogue workshop entitled “Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Mainstreaming Decent Work in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Arab Region,” placed particular emphasis on the ILO’s social partners to develop a position on Sustainable Development Goal 8—which promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, as well as full and productive employment and decent work for all—as well as means to reinforce the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda through multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships. Using the South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) framework  for coordination, around 35 representatives of government, employers’, and workers’ organisations from Jordan, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), Iraq, Kuwait, and Oman employed peer-to-peer exchanges to share and identify best practices and lessons learned in the promotion of decent work.

Participants also discussed methods to integrate decent work and employment in the national development planning process, including through respective countries’ Voluntary National Review  processes. Representatives from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) also took part in the discussions.

The South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) framework is a significant modality of development cooperation, based on financial and non-financial exchanges between peers. The SSTC brings together developing countries to pursue or share their national capacity development objectives through the exchange of knowledge, skills, and resources – involving partnerships with governments, regional organisations, civil society, academia, and the private sector.

The ILO Regional Office for the Arab States currently works to build the capacity of its social partners to implement the SDGs by 2030 across 12 Arab States.

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