Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) Rio+20: Making it Happen, Volume 3, Issue 2, 14 February 2012


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In our efforts to raise awareness around the themes of sustainable development, we devote this special issue to Jobs/Employment, one of the seven critical issues of Rio+20.

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Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) Rio+20: Making it Happen, Volume 3, Issue 2, 14 February 2012

  1. 1. Newsletter of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development14 February 2012, Volume 3, Issue 2 Working Together For Good Jobs In our efforts to raise awareness around the themes of sustainable The economic recession has undoubtedly development, we devote this impacted all sectors around the globe, including special issue to Jobs, one of the significantly on the quantity and quality of jobs. seven critical issues of Rio+20. With almost 200 million unemployed people worldwide, and over 500 million job seekers over the next 10 years, job creation will remain a vital part of a global economic recovery not only in the production and generation of wealth, but also for inside this issue income distribution. ‘Green and decent jobs’ - Good Jobs are positions across all sectors that contribute to - Deadlines...Deadlines greening, preserving or restoring the quality of [page 1] the environment, promoting social inclusion and aiding in a transition to a low-carbon economy, - Major Groups Corner and will be one of the critical issues highlighted - 2011 World Youth Report at Rio+20 in June. - e-Discussion However, the issues surrounding green jobs are - Important Events not exclusive to environmental preservation. [page 2] Decent jobs can also play a critical role in improving job quality and social inclusion around the world. It is estimated that for a staggering 1.3 billion people - representing over 40 percent of the global workforce - earnings are too low to lift them and their dependents above the poverty threshold of US$2 per person per day. On top of this, 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where the income gap is widening. This is simply not sustainable. As resource extraction approaches the carrying capacity of the planet, the pace of green job creation is likely to accelerate in the years ahead. According to a 2008 UNEP/ILO green jobs report, it is estimated that the number of green jobs in the world may grow at a rate of 750,000 per year. China alone is estimated to reach 4.5 million jobs in the wind and solar sectors by 2020. It is also estimated that a coordinated global investment of around US$1.8 trillion in sustainable development programs could yield as much as 13 million new green jobs per year until 2050. One thing should be Follow Rio+20 clear: the transition to a Green Economy will spur green job creation that can become an engine of Visit us on Facebook and Twitter development - in both developed and developing countries - around the world. In preparation for Rio+20, the UNCSD Secretariat and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has released a Green Jobs Issues Brief that provides an overview of existing commitments, current initiatives and future goals relating to global green job growth and social inclusion. For Contact us more information, or to view all of the Issue Briefs, visit the official Rio+20 website. SD-Learning at Rio+20 Side Events at Rio+20 Submit proposals Request by 30 March Quote by 29 February “ social protection policies have avoided the worst of the economic crisis, especially among the most vulnerable, supported demand and ” boosted economic recovery - Michelle Bachelet Major Groups Chair of the Social Protection New Accreditations Floor Advisory Group Deadline 20 February 1
  2. 2. Workers and Trade Unions: Negotiating the Zero Draft The Issues Made Simple From 19 to 23 March, Member States The International Trade Union Confederation will hold their first round of ‘informal- (ITUC) says that better social standards are informal’ negotiations on the zero draft needed to ensure that green jobs contribute of the Rio+20 outcome document at UN toward achieving sustainable development, Headquarters in New York. as well as being a path out of poverty for Governments are requested to submit workers. their comments and proposals on As co-organizing partner of the Major Group sections III, IV and V of the zero draft by for Workers and Trade Unions, ITUC has 29 February. released the first in a series of policy briefs to The zero draft is available online here.clarify concepts around green jobs and social protection floors, in the context of decent work andpoverty eradication. Among priorities, the authors say that all workers depend on the naturalenvironment for livelihoods, resources and raw materials, and that reducing environmental Upcoming Eventsimpact of labour must go hand-in-hand with better training in sustainable technologies andcoordinated planning for a “just transition” to a new sustainable economic system. 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council‘75% of the world’s people have insufficient or no access to social security,’ say experts, who 20 - 22 February 2012propose that a social protection floor would provide people with basic income security and Nairobi, Kenyaessential services to prevent them from falling into the poverty trap. Distinct from a safety net, [more information]social protection floors have the potential to build up long-term resilience in citizens facing criseson multiple fronts. More information can be found online here. Roundtable on Rio+20:Young People Speak Out on Decent Work in Changing Times Green Bridge Projects Drafted almost exclusively from the words of young people themselves, 22 - 23 February 2012 the 2011 World Youth Report was launched last week within the Astana, Kazakhstan 50th Session of the UN Commission for Social Development. Convened [more information] over four weeks in October/November 2011, an e-Discussion hosted by UNDESA collected the views, experiences and recommendations of Road to Rio Conference: young people on preparing for, entering, and remaining active in the Regions Building the Green Economylabour market. The online 2011 World Youth Report is the outcome of those consultations. 7 - 8 March 2012 Geneva, SwitzerlandAs critical stakeholders in the pursuit of decent and productive work for all as a means to achieving [more information]sustainable development, youth are rights-holders and active participants in society, in additionto representing the future global workforce. In some cases, they are also pioneers. The report Magna Conference on Energy andtakes heed of calls by Member States, youth organizations, young people and others to bring Forests toward Sustainable Citiesyouth voices into fora where global issues are discussed and acted upon. 7 - 8 March 2012Innovating away from issuing paper documents, the 2011 World Youth Report was launched as Sao Paulo, Brazilan entirely online experience designed to draw in young audiences and engage the public with [more information]its content in new ways. The full report is also available for download online here. Rio+20: Achieving Global JusticeRecovering From the Crisis, in the Green EconomyAdvancing Decent Work 15 March 2012With world unemployment hovering above Brussels, Belgium200 million, those fortunate enough to have [more information]a job today are often subject to wages belowthe global poverty threshold of $2 per person The Global Transition Dialogueper day (two workers in five). Many do not 17 - 18 March 2012collect pay for their work (mainly women), and New York, United Stateslabour market conditions vary enormously [more information]between countries with too few safety nets tosave people from poverty. Alarmingly, youth Capacity Building Workshop forunemployment stands at two to three times the adult rate worldwide. Major Groups and other stakeholders 19 March 2012The UN warns that conditions leading to growing economic and social exclusion could promote New York, United Statesgreater unrest and instability throughout the world. [more information]Feeding in to the Annual Ministerial Review in July 2012, an e-Discussion on ‘Jobs, Decent Workand Inclusive Growth’, led jointly by UNDESA, UNDP and the ILO, will run online until 14 March focusing on the promotion of productivecapacity, employment and decent work as tools for reducing poverty, moving towards sustainable development and achieving theMillennium Development Goals. In the context of Rio+20, the e-Discussion presents a unique opportunity for the development communityconvene online and formulate concrete recommendations. To join, contact 2