sustainable development


Sustainable Development: Stronger and more inclusive economic growth results from more people in decent work. More resources are available to produce decent jobs as a result of improved growth. It’s a basic equation, but one that has been largely ignored in international policymaking before and after the financial crisis of 2008. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a difference and enhance the lives of billions of people through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Individuals and families with decent jobs have more money in their pockets to spend in the local economy. Their purchasing power promotes the growth and sustainable development of firms, particularly smaller ones, allowing them to recruit more people and enhance their wages and working conditions. In addition, it boosts tax revenues for governments, allowing them to support social programmes to help those who can’t find jobs or can’t work.

The ILO Decent Work Agenda has four pillars: creating jobs and enterprise, ensuring workplace rights, expanding social protection, and promoting social dialogue, with gender as a cross-cutting topic. These are critical to the advancement of the entire agenda for sustainable development.

Inequality is reduced, and resilience is increased when everyone works hard. Moreover, people and communities benefit from policies produced through social dialogue because they help them cope with the effects of climate change while also easing the transition to a more sustainable development of economy. Last but not least, having a respectable job provides dignity, hope, and a feeling of social fairness, all of which contribute to the creation and maintenance of social harmony.

It’s no surprise that in the global consultations for the 2030 Agenda, people listed decent work as one of their top objectives. The 2030 goals, according to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “address the prerequisites for all humankind to be able to live decent lives free of poverty, hunger, and inequality, with all men and women, girls and boys able to fulfil their full potential.” They commit us all to be responsible global citizens who care about the least fortunate as well as our planet’s ecosystems and climate action, which all life depends on.”

The challenges that the world of work faces cannot be overstated.

At over 200 million people, global unemployment is unacceptably high, with hundreds of millions more living in poverty. Furthermore, considerable changes in our work will occur during the next 15 years, owing to technological, environmental, and demographic shifts.

However, let’s all come together in a worldwide partnership of governments, businesses, and trade unions, as well as multilateral organisations, civil society, and ordinary people. So we can accomplish the goal of sustainable development of this transformative agenda by 2030. Every single one of us has a part to play in ensuring that no one is left behind.


Agenda 2030 prioritises decent employment for all, as well as the ILO’s mandate and goal of social justice, in policies for long-term, inclusive growth and development.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, several countries have resumed or sustained growth. However, this has frequently resulted in jobless growth. Although our economy is improving, individuals do not see greater possibilities for meaningful jobs. This is not a viable option. To keep up with the growth of the working-age population, about 600 million new jobs will be needed by 2030. This equates to about 40 million people per year.

We must also better the lives of the 780 million women and men who work but do not earn enough to pull themselves and their families out of poverty on less than $2 a day. We will see increased decent work possibilities and more strong, inclusive, and poverty-reducing growth if we put job creation at the centre of economic policymaking and development initiatives.

Developing and emerging countries that spent the most in quality jobs in the early 2000s have grown approximately one percentage point quicker per year since 2007, with reduced income disparities.

Job-centred economic growth produces a virtuous circle that benefits both the economy and people and drives long-term development.

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable development of economy, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

  • Maintain per capita economic growth by national circumstances, with a minimum of 7% annual gross domestic product growth in the least developed countries.
  • Increase economic productivity through diversification, technical advancement, and innovation, concentrating on high-value-added and labour-intensive industries.
  • Encourage the formalisation and expansion of micro, small, and medium-sized firms, including through access to financial services, by promoting development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation.
  • Improve global resource efficiency in consumption and production gradually until 2030, and strive to divorce economic growth from environmental deterioration, by the 10-year framework of sustainable development and consumption and production programmes, with developed countries taking the lead.
  • By 2030, all women and men, including young people and individuals with disabilities, will have full and productive employment and equal compensation for equal effort.
  • Reduce the percentage of young people who are unemployed, underemployed, or out of school by 2020.
  • Take prompt and practical steps to eliminate forced labour, modern slavery, and human trafficking, as well as the prohibition and elimination of the most heinous types of child labour, such as the recruitment and employment of child soldiers, by 2025.
  • Protect workers’ rights and promote safe and secure working conditions for all workers, mainly migrant workers, especially women migrants, and those in insecure employment.
  • By 2030, develop and execute policies to promote sustainable development and tourism that supports local culture and products while also creating jobs.
  • Enhance the ability of domestic financial institutions to promote and enhance universal access to banking, insurance, and financial services.
  • Increase funding to developing countries, particularly LDCs, for trade support, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries.

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