This is the fourth in a series of messages we will be sending to keep you up to date on the plans we have put together for the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20, as well as our own associated event – The Trade Union Assembly on Labour and Environment (11-13 June).
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The last informal Rio+20 negotiations session closed on Saturday, 2 June and the least we can say is that governments will have a heavy duty to give their Heads of State a draft Declaration that is worth signing.
When it comes to union priorities there is overall support for the broad concepts of Decent Work and Social Protection (including the floor). However, we face fierce opposition to concrete proposals: on the one side, developed countries (notably some more than other like the US, Canada, Australia and Japan; with EU and Switzerland as exceptions) oppose the launch of initiatives aimed at « doing something » with these concepts – the launch of a ‘social protection for all by 2030’ initiative supportive of ILO work on this issue as well as the adoption of a ‘decent work for all’ objective, aimed at eliminating working poverty, reducing unemployment, growing green and decent jobs and ensuring gender equity at the workplace. This leaves us wondering if some developed countries think that the challenges of unemployment and working poverty can be solved without cooperation at the international level.