Social Watch at the SDG Summit 2023 Informal Stakeholder Dialogue

Statement by Roberto Bissio, on behalf of Social Watch, at the SDG Summit 2023 Informal Stakeholder Dialogue that was held virtually on 7 June 2023.

Thank you, Mr Chairman,

The Civil Society Forum at the Fifth LDC Summit last March in Doha (see here) made several points in its statement to the official closing session, that are relevant to the SDG mid-term review. Due to the time limit, let me emphasize just one, quote:

“Unpaid care work, mostly done by women and girls, must be reduced and redistributed by governments, as well as recognized in constitutions and laws. Effective infrastructure for care services can be built through networks that link and coordinate across the different services, as well as connecting care services with the rest of the economy.”

Building an “economy that actually cares”, as suggested in that document, means investing in care services and infrastructure as a public good has been shown in a recent study by ECLAC and UN-Women (see to have a beneficial multiplier effect greater than that of investing in traditional physical infrastructure.

The zero draft has only one mention to “care” (PP13), rightly including health care among other desirable goals. But it ignores the earth-shaking experience of the Covid pandemic that placed care as central to the existence of our civilization and women as its main providers, frequently without pay and always underpaid.

The Regional Conference on Women in LAC  committed the regional governments to “ensure the right to care through comprehensive care policies and systems from a gender, intersectional, intercultural and human rights perspective”. Elements from these Buenos Aires Commitments could enrich the zero draft.

While vaccines and Special Drawing Rights were hoarded by a few countries without reaching those left behind, and while untaxed billionaires around the world were getting richer, women were providing a massive subsidy to the economy that was not registered in any national accounts. This is one of the reasons why we need indicators “beyond GDP” as the Zero Draft correctly proposes. And we need to assess who really contributed to the SDGs in this first term, to properly assess which partnerships to promote in the coming second half.

Thank you,


Civil Society Statement at LDC5, “From Commitments to Action”

L. Scuro, C. Alemany and R. Coello Cremades (coords.), Financing care systems and policies in Latin America and the Caribbean: contributions for a sustainable recovery with gender equality (LC/TS.2022/134), Santiago, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)/United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), 2022.

XV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: Buenos Aires Commitment, LC/CRM.15/6