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The high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development in 2017 convened under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is being held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017 in New York under the theme “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. A three-day ministerial segment of the forum will take place from Monday, 17 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.
H.E. Andrés Mideros, National Secretary of Planning and Development of the Republic of Ecuador, delivered a statement at the opening session on behalf of the Group of 77 and China recalling that the “achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda depends on enabling an international environment for development, facilitating the necessary means of implementation, in particular in the areas of finance, international trade, technology and capacity-building to developing countries”.
Below is the full statement of H.E. Andrés Mideros, National Secretary of Planning and Development of the Republic of Ecuador, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at the general debate of the 2017 high level political forum on sustainable development:

Will national partnerships with private sector accelerate implementation if global obstacles remain?

On Monday, 17 July, the sponsors of the High-Level Panel report on Women’s Economic Empowerment are presenting a panel on “Accelerating women’s economic empowerment to achieve the 2030 Agenda”, head-lined by the Secretary-General. They will be joined by a diverse Member State ‘group of champions for women’s economic empowerment’. Given the knowledge and expertise of the High-Level Panel and the national level experience of the group of champions, they will have many examples of opportunities, but will they highlight the risks? 

The rules, institutions and operations of global markets, unchanged since the end of formal colonialism, are among the greatest obstacles to the development of individual African countries.
Global market rules are either in favour of, or are frequently bent to benefit industrial countries.

Often, different, more restrictive market rules are applied to African countries, while industrial countries are accorded more leeway to implement rules in ways that will benefit their companies, labour forces and economies.
Industrial countries have more power to determine the rules of the market than African or developing countries.

The strangest aspect of the G20 communiqué, and the part that has dominated media coverage, is the section on the Paris climate agreement.  The strangeness arises not because of the topic – the G20 has always played second fiddle to the UN on climate issues – but because, for the first time, a whole paragraph is devoted solely to one member, the USA, explaining why it doesn’t agree with the others, followed by a paragraph by the others explaining why they will go ahead without the USA anyway, including through agreeing a “G19” action plan on energy and climate for growth.

The climate change issue is a jarring symbol of the G20’s difficulty in reaching agreement. However, the Trump administration’s ‘America first’ stance and resulting lack of movement on economic issues – the raison d’etre of the G20 – is evident throughout the document.

The Labour 20 Statement from workers and trade unions at the G20 sets out policies for leaders which will ensure co-ordinated action to create quality jobs for the future, reduce inequality to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and meet the commitments in the Paris Agreement.

The ITUC Global Poll 2017, covering over half the G20 countries, found that 74% of people worry about rising inequality between the richest 1% and the rest of the population, 73% worry about losing their jobs and 83% think the minimum wage is not enough to live on.

“Globalisation is in trouble because the world’s workforce is in trouble and people simply don’t trust governments which are simply offering them more of the same. People want global rules for global supply chains where multinational corporates are held to account, they want a minimum wage on which they can live with dignity, they want investment in jobs for themselves and their children and they want their governments to act on climate,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation.
The road map for the G20 has been set by the G20 Labour Ministers Declaration, but it remains for the G20 Leaders to re-affirm the call from their Labour Ministers to:

Implement an integrated set of policies that places people and decent jobs at centre stage with investment in enabling green infrastructure and the care economy.

Ensure that violations of decent work and fundamental principles and rights at work cannot be part of competition, with mandated due diligence for human rights in global supply chains.
“The G20 Hamburg Summit is taking place after a year of backlash by voters against governments, institutions and the very functioning of economic systems, in particular a global system that has done far more to liberalise and de-regulate markets than to share the costs and benefits of globalisation fairly,” said John Evans, General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).

“The G20 Labour Ministers agreed on policies that, if acted upon, would bring young people, women and migrants into decent work. They also underlined the role of social partners in creating a good future of work for everyone. G20 Leaders need to re-affirm this and the key role of collective bargaining and social dialogue. Business and labour at the G20 level jointly call for a lifelong learning guarantee and permanent quality jobs across sectors. It is time for the G20 to bring their Finance and Labour Ministerial outcomes in line to achieve these goals,” said Evans.

The Labour 20 is calling on G20 leaders to commit to:

A fiscal stimulus to exit the low growth trap and to engage a just transition to a low-carbon and digitalised economy;

Placing job quality and wages at the centre of G20 actions to tackle rising inequalities;

Closing the gender employment and pay gap;

Supporting youth employment and skills development;

Setting the standard for responsible business conduct with mandated due diligence for human rights in global supply chains;

Increasing tax transparency;

Ensuring a fair distribution of benefits from technological change;

A joint response to the large movements of refugees and the integration of migrants;

Translating climate change commitments into reality;

Aligning G20 policies with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda;

Mainstreaming social dialogue and ensuring policy coherence within the G20.

“G20 governments have a mandate to act from their people. 85% of people in the ITUC Global Poll say the time has come to re-write the rules to promote growth and share prosperity and 93% believe it’s important that their government take a stand against corporate abuse and stand up for the rule of law,” said Sharan Burrow.

L20 Statement Hamburg G20 Summit 2017


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