UNMDG summit: baby steps on jobs but little else to cheer
This week the UN held a summit to review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Many world leaders spoke but civil society organisations are disappointed by the lack of concrete commitments in the conclusions (written before the speeches of course!) The only real step forward, described as a ‘baby step’ by Greenpeace Director Kumi Naidoo, was on employment: testament to effective lobbying by the International Trade Union Confederation.
The ITUC view was expressed by head of the New York office Gemma Adaba:
“People have a right to decent employment and replacement income when they can not work. The recognition of universal social protection, sustained promotion in the rights of all labors, better income, basic social services is positive, but no accountabilities tools were found in these documents, just intentions.”
But unions themselves were successful at building in material on jobs and the ILO, as Kumi Naidoo, co-chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and the Executive Director of Greenpeace International said in a generally downbeat assessment:
“This is not the breakthrough plan that we need to achieve the MDGs by 2015. There are some baby steps in the right direction – particularly for workers and for education and health for all — but there’s not the re-doubling of efforts that we needed to see in order for world leaders to keep the promises they made to the world’s poor.”