Magdalena Valerio, Minister of Labor, Migration and Social Security, has participated in New York, in High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The acting minister has defended before the United Nations Organization (UN) the importance of continuing to advance in the achievement of objective number 8 of Sustainable Development (SDG 8): achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all people.

Within the framework of this High Level Forum, Magdalena Valerio has highlighted several essential elements for Spain in its effort to achieve the 2030 agenda: the local factor and the energy transition. This has been defended in the debate on the local dimension of Sustainable Development goals: "Local 2030: localizing the SDG: The local dimensions of the SDG 8".

Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security In his speech, the Minister of Labor, Migration and Social Security explained that the incorporation of the territorial dimension into the 2030 Agenda has been "rigorously" collected in Spain. On the one hand, the "Spanish Urban Agenda"with the objective of promoting and favoring the urban economy, which specifies actions linked to SDG 8. In that direction, initiatives have been promoted in the last twelve months to promote the Social Economy as a central piece to structure territories and generate wealth and employment decent at the local level.

Another axis of the action of the Government of Spain has to do with the generation of decent work through green jobs. "We fully share that the transition towards a climate neutral economy must be managed in a fair and supportive manner, combining energy and climate policies with growth and employment policies," said the minister, who recalled that Spain has been especially active , together with the European Union, in the signature of the Paris Agreement about the weather

Valerio pointed out that the ecological and energetic transition, as well as digitization or robotization, represent both a challenge and an opportunity for employment that must be answered.

To face the challenge of generating more jobs than can be destroyed in these transitions, he pointed out three necessary measures:

  • First, betting on active employment policies and, particularly, on training throughout the working life.
  • Second, the implementation of social policies to help the most vulnerable people who have to readjust. "With that objective, the Government of Spain will adopt a Just Transition Strategy that should serve to leave no one behind and that is a clear example of locating SDG 8 ".
  • The third idea that was transferred is that to make the transition to a clean energy and climate neutrality a reality, it is essential to have the social partners. "Social dialogue will allow us to better define the necessary policies and know their effectiveness", he concluded.

Degree of progress of the SDGs

Acting Minister Magdalena Valeria with the Director General of the ILO, Guy RyderMinistry of Labor, Migration and Social SecurityThe acting minister also inaugurated with the general director of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, the Seminar "Accelerating progress under SDG 8 and promoting full employment and decent work for all", organized by the ILO.

In this High Level Forum, the degree of progress that the different countries have achieved in SDG 8 has been debated and analyzed based on the ILO Results Report. In his speech, Valerio has recognized the great work that the ILO is carrying out towards the achievement of social justice and universal peace, through the fundamental rights represented in the pillars of decent work. And he highlighted the commitment of the Government of Spain to the Sustainable Development goals and the 2030 Agenda.

The Minister of Labor, Migration and Social Security explained in her speech that Spain has assumed "in all its extension" SDG 8 and has highlighted the progress of the Action Plan of Spain for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda in its first year of effectiveness . In particular, progress towards objective 8, full employment and decent work, an objective that in the EU as a whole is achieving "substantial" progress, compared to the 17 SDGs as a whole, according to the report published by EUROSTAT in June of this year.

"This positive trend has been reinforced, in our country, notably over the last year," said Valerio. The minister stressed that Spain has developed "very significant" actions to strengthen this trend of improvement linked to the ODS, paying special attention to young people and long-term unemployed people.

"Our Government is convinced that there can be no economic growth if it is not sustainable, if it is not based on social justice, and that is why we believe that no other job can be created that is not quality employment or – in 2030 Agenda terminology. – a decent job, "said Valerio.

Among the actions carried out by Spain, the Master Plan for a Decent Work was highlighted, which has made it possible to improve the employment quality of more than 220,000 people, the increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Wage by 22% in the last year and the revaluation of the pensions. Measures have also been taken to reinforce gender equality in employment and favor co-responsibility of men and women in the care of their children, such as raising parental leave up to the level of maternity leave, and increasing pay transparency in companies.

Acting Minister Magdalena Valerio, in her speech at the High Level Political Forum on the SDGs, in New YorkMinistry of Labor, Migration and Social SecurityThe minister made a special mention for the group of young people. Valerio highlighted the decline in the youth unemployment rate by 11 points since the most acute phase of the economic crisis. "But we can not be satisfied, because unemployment and precariousness still hit many – too many – of our youth," he said.

In that sense, he recalled the approval of a Plan of Shock for Youth Employment for the next 3 years, which includes 50 measures focused on active and personalized guidance, the promotion of professional and dual training, a strong investment in digital skills and key competences, and support for entrepreneurship. And all this accompanied by an intense work with the Decent Global Employment Initiative for Young People, as an instrument that has made it possible to combine efforts to improve the situation of young people in the international arena.

Valerio also mentioned a series of actions carried out by the Spanish Government that affect, at least, 6 Goals of SDG 8: the improvement of the protection of self-employed workers, the support and promotion of the Social Economy, the strengthening of the Dialogue Social as a central element in the design of social policies, and attention to the most disadvantaged groups in relation to employment, such as long-term unemployed people, people with disabilities, or older workers. "The set of actions carried out have contributed to deepen social cohesion in our country, an additional component of motivation to continue on this path," said Valerio.

Acting Minister Magdalena Valerio, in her speech at the High Level Political Forum on the SDGs, in New YorkMinistry of Labor, Migration and Social SecurityThe acting minister was moderately satisfied by the evolution of the indicators, although she assured that she was not complacent, because "we are aware of the road that still needs to be traveled". On the one hand, the country is creating employment at a rate of around 3% and "we have just surpassed our historical record of Social Security affiliates". However, "the persistence of high rates of unemployment and situations of inequality, the situation of the most disadvantaged groups or the precariousness of certain forms of employment force us to not be satisfied and continue working," he said.

Before the intervention in the ILO Forum, Valerio took advantage of his visit to New York to hold a bilateral meeting with the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, María Fernanda Espinosa, who congratulated Spain for the progress made in the last year in the recovery of spaces for women and the fight for real equality, as well as for its commitment to the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.

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