"If women stop, the world stops." As discussions focused on SDG 8, decent work and economic growth, representatives from the Women's Major Group dress in red to remind delegates about the important role women play in the global workforce.
HLPF 2019 continued on Wednesday at UN Headquarters in New York. A thematic review on empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality in the morning included two sessions, on the perspectives of small island developing states (SIDS), and of least developed countries (LDCs) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). Speakers highlighted innovations, such as a peer review system for voluntary national reviews (VNRs); and challenges, such as high vulnerability and capacity needs, in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They emphasized mutually reinforcing synergies between achieving the SDGs and the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway; the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for LLDCs; and the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs.
In the afternoon, a review of implementation and interrelations among SDGs focused on SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth). Progress on achieving this Goal was reported as being slow, and somewhat mixed: despite an increase in gross domestic product growth globally, the LDCs are falling short of their 7% target; 22% of the young people around the world are not in education, employment, or training; and the increase in labor productivity shows a high variation across regions.
Several speakers discussed the impacts of the digital economy, describing it as a "double edged sword" that empowers people but can also have disruptive implications for the future of work. The need to reform educational curricula to ensure that skills match future needs was emphasized, as was the critical need to increase women’s participation in the labor market in general, and in the digital economy in particular.
Thematic Review: Perspectives of Small Island Developing States
Panel speakers discuss the main findings from the mid-term review of the SAMOA Pathway (L-R): Yvonne Hyde, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, Belize; Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General for Human and Social Development, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat; Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market, and Data Protection, Ireland; Mona Juul, Vice-President, ECOSOC; Lesley Brough, ECOSOC Affairs Branch; Moderator Emele Duituturaga, former Executive Director, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO); Rakesh Bhuckory, Minister Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Trade, Mauritius; and Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General, Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).
Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market, and Data Protection, Ireland
Rakesh Bhuckory, Minister Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Trade, Mauritius
Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Samoa
Stacy Richards-Kennedy, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
Yvonne Hyde, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, Belize
Lois Young, Belize, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
Willy Missack, Pacific Climate Change Collaboration, Influencing, and Learning (PACCCIL)
Thematic Review: Perspectives of Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries
Panel speakers discuss the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs (L-R): Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, UN High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS; Saad Alfarargi, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development; Jerry Tardieu, Congressman, Haiti; Mona Juul, Vice-President, ECOSOC; Ziad Mahmassani, Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM); Moderator Hope Muli, Hivos, Kenya; Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Executive Director, Oxfam Mexico.
Saad Alfarargi, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development
Richard Ssewakiryanga, Co-Chair, Civil Society Organization (CSO) Partnership for Development Effectiveness
Doma Tshering, Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the UN, and Co-Facilitator of the Political Declaration of the Midterm Review of the Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for LLDCs
Moderator Hope Muli, Hivos, Kenya
Jerry Tardieu, Congressman, Haiti
Perks Ligoya, Malawi
Khomraj Koirala, Nepal
Chika Mercedes Ibeh, Women's Major Group; Vladislav Kaim, Major Group for Children and Youth; and Enma Catu Raxjal, Indigenous Peoples
Discussion on SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
Panel speakers during the session (L-R): Peter Robinson, President, US Council for International Business
(USCIB); Darja Isaksson, Director-General, Vinnova, Sweden; Mamadou Diallo, Deputy Secretary-General, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); Valentin Rybakov, Vice-President, ECOSOC; Emer Herity, UN DESA; Moderator Moussa Oumarou, Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, International Labour Organization (ILO); and Fu Xiaolan, Professor and Founding Director, Technology and Management Centre for
Development, Oxford University.
Faryal Ahmed, Statistics Division, DESA
Fu Xiaolan, Oxford University
Using the interactive platform Sli.do, delegates highlight what they consider to be the most important challenges and opportunities facing employment in the years leading up to 2030.
Mamadou Diallo, Deputy Secretary-General, ITUC
Darja Isaksson, Director General, Vinnova, Sweden
Lead Discussants Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE); and Matthias Thorns, Deputy Secretary-General, International Organization of Employers (IOE)
Anne-Beth Skrede, Norway
Rodrigo Carazo, Costa Rica
Around the Venue
Delegates share a moment at the start of a session.
Delegates from Morocco
Delegates from Italy
Delegates from the Dominican Republic
Delegates from Kuwait
Delegates speak informally between sessions.
Visitors to the UN watch the proceedings of HLPF from the observation window.
Celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the ILO, an exhibition around UN Headquarters highlights the importance of ensuring social justice and decent work.
In the SDG Media Hub, Red, the Angriest Bird, commits himself to climate action, to the delight of visitors to the UN.
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