Every month, in the context of upcoming events and thematic priorities, we highlight one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and provide an editorial package containing the latest reports, news, interviews with subject matter experts, stories of impact, and resources.

SDG planning calendar


According to the International Labour Organization, more than 340 million jobs need to be created by 2030, in addition to the 190 million jobs needed to address unemployment today. Of the nearly 200 million unemployed people today, almost 65 million are young. Even with work, 300 million people live in extreme poverty – on less than $1.90 a day.

The Goal of the Month is Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth. The SDG editorial content will explore challenges and opportunities facing the world of work, including the green economy and modern slavery, as well as the need for financial investment in a sustainable future.

For further information on the UN’s work on Goal 8, including facts and figures, click here.


UN Youth Forum, 8-9 April

At a time when young people are taking matters into their own hands, demanding climate action and economic and social equality, the United Nations is bringing together hundreds of young people committed to raising awareness, holding governments and organizations accountable, and mobilizing action to achieve the SDGs. This year’s UN Youth Forum is the first such gathering since the adoption of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Strategy in 2018, which calls for increased youth participation and representation in political processes and policy-making.

Check out panel discussions, interviews and exhibits at the SDG Media Zone during the Youth Forum. Join the conversation online using the hashtags#SDGLive and #Youth2030.

UN Youth Forum Live 8-9 April
SDG Media Zone – full programme and live stream 8-9 April

International Labour Organization Centennial

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was created 100 years ago to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. While remarkable progress has been made, transformations in the world of work are taking place at an unprecedented pace and scale, presenting challenges and opportunities associated with technological development, climate change, demographic shifts and globalization.

Visit ILO’s website for a list of commemorative events. Check out ILO’s latest social media movement, #myFutureofWork, which was launched on 8 April, to inspire people to think about what skills are needed to face the future of work. On 9 April, ILO joins leading street artists, including Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky), Faith 47, Jorge Gerada, Mr Cenz and Victor Ash for an Art Walk, to unveil five street art murals depicting images of decent work – green jobs, youth employment, gender equality at work, the eradication of child and forced labor, and the future of work with social dialogue. RSVP here to join the walk.

Delta 8.7 – Launch of a new UN data tool on modern slavery

Everyone deserves to feel safe and valued in their work while being fairly treated and paid. However, in 2016, more than 40 million people were estimated to be victims of modern slavery globally and more than 152 million children were estimated to be trapped in child labour.

Find out more about Delta 8.7 – a new interactive data tool created by the UN University Centre for Policy Research, which shows a mismatch between where modern slavery occurs, and where governments are spending resources to address it, could help make a positive impact on policy debates surrounding the issue.

Check out a modern slavery map which includes information on the organizations that work with the business sector to combat modern slavery.

Did you know a legal identity is a critical tool for protecting children?

Proof of legal identity—e.g. a birth certificate and/or birth registration—helps protect children against:

  • child labour
  • trafficking
  • use of child soldiers

If we can verify a child’s age, we can protect their rights and enforce laws safeguarding them. A birth certificate serves as a critical tool for protecting children from the worst forms of labour and trafficking. If we are to achieve SDG 8, we must focus on building civil registration systems and providing universal birth registration.


SDG Blog: Elliot Harris
How will Artificial Intelligence shape the next decade? Will this revolution be a positive force, spurring global growth and improving lives around the world? Listen to the podcast here.

Revamping the Global Financial Architecture

While interest in sustainable financing is increasing, the transition to a sustainable economy is not happening at the required scale. Systemic risks are rising, and the multilateral system is under strain.

The United Nations’ latest Financing for Sustainable Development Report, launched on 4 April, evaluates the global landscape and makes recommendations for governments before the Annual and Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. Key findings include:

  • Debt risks are rising. Around 30 developing countries are either in, or at high risk of, debt distress.
  • Tax revenues are insufficient, and tax rules are inadequate given digitalization. Small and poor countries are not adequately included in international tax architecture reform efforts.
  • Inequality has risen in countries where most people live in the world, and global growth in real wages is only 1.8 per cent, the lowest since 2008.

Investing in the Green Economy

Twenty-four million new jobs can be created globally by 2030 if the right policies to promote a greener economy are put in place. According to a recent report by the International Labour Organization, action to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius will result in sufficient job creation to more than offset job losses of 6 million elsewhere.

Find out why investing in the green economy makes good economic sense.

Launch of the SDG Book Club

Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The United Nations launches the SDG Book Club in April to encourage young readers to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging and meaningful way.  

Participants are also encouraged to start their own book clubs locally and engage online using hashtag #SDGBookClub. Each month focuses on one goal, beginning with Goal 1 in April, and leading up to the 5th anniversary of the SDGs in September 2020. Reading lists are available in the six official languages of the United Nations – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.


Generation Unlimited is a global partnership that aims to ensure that every young person is in education, learning, training or employment by 2030, when there will be 2 billion young women and men seeking opportunities for a bright future throughout the world.

Learn more about Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Background Information

Upcoming events

10 April | High-Level Meeting on the Future of Work, New York

Hosted by the President of the General Assembly, the Official UN Commemoration of the ILO’s Centenary will take place in New York under the theme of “The Future of Work”.

Click here for more information.

12-14 April | Annual and Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group

The Spring Meetings will bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.

13 April to 9 May | Global Days of Action on Military Spending 

Upward trends in militarization continue unabated. Global military spending is at its highest since the end of the Cold War. UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, urges the international community to realign priorities to focus more on people-centred development. Her statement is embargoed until 13 April.  Read the full statement.

28 April | World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2019 

Inspired by the ILO’s anniversary, the international day will take stock of a 100 years of work in improving occupational safety and health.  

2 – 5 May | Global Festival of Action – Bonn, Germany

Powered by the UN SDG Action Campaign and taking place in Bonn every year, the Global Festival of Action provides a dynamic and interactive space to showcase the latest innovations, tools and approaches to SDG advocacy and SDG action. It brings together leaders from governments, local authorities, international organizations, civil society, activists, young advocates, the creative industry and the private sector– to scale up the impact of their work and strategize joint actions, whilst motivating new organizations and individuals to join the movement and take action for the SDGs.

Goal of the Month – May Edition

In May the SDG editorial content will focus on Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies in light of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and the International Day of Peacekeepers (29 May).

SDG Media Compact

Launched by the United Nations in September 2018 by more than 30 founding media organizations – encompassing more than 100 media and entertainment outlets – the SDG Media Compact seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Find all our Media Compact Members here.

Sustainability at work

SDG Pioneers
Each year, the UN Global Compact celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers — business leaders who are doing an exceptional job to advance the Goals. In the spirit of giving young people a seat at the table to build a sustainable future, in 2019,  the search for SDG Pioneers will be focused young professionals aged 35 and under.

Young SDG Innovators Programme
The UN Global Compact Young SDG Innovators Programme, targeting ages 35 and under, will empower future business leaders to rethink the business models of their companies by guiding them through a series of workshops and opportunities to learn from other leaders. 

More Global Compact Goal 8-related initiatives