Things are almost always more complex than they seem. Not even almost but basically just always. Trying to achieve the goals set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda is no mean feat and it cannot be up to our foundation to complete it. Nevertheless, it is a duty for a foundation such as ours, which holds special consultative status at the UN, to reflect on the issues raised by this organisation, highlighting, as in this case, the deep relationships that exist between elements that may appear distant.

On 17 July, when four experts went up to the Colle di Miravalle to take part in a Round Table on Goal 8, that which refers to labour, it became immediately clear that discussing this topic without including gender equality, sustainable development, territorial issues and the need for close international collaboration would simply be an act of speaking. The speakers preferred to choose a concrete, scientific, objective approach: data before opinions. The picture that emerged is complex for the fact that it guarantees a vision that is both historical and legal yet also economic.

If the United Nations calls on countries around the world to promote inclusive economic growth and decent work for all, we must ask ourselves, first of all if this is possible, then what we are doing and finally what the results of our actions will be. Listening to the talks by Alessandra Pietrobon, Professor at the University of Padua, by Elena Dundovich, who teaches the History of International Relations at the University of Pisa, by Gianluca Alberini, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and by Adalgiso Amendola, Full Professor of Economics at the University of Salerno, some things have become clearer, some have seemed more complicated than we thought and many ideas have mingled.

To prevent this reflection from remaining only a vague memory, in which concepts overlap, merge, or remain deformed in the memory, we have decided to publish this special issue of «La Voce di Maria Dolens», bringing together a series of summaries of the various talks. The speakers themselves will lead us along a path that must be faced with a multilateral approach (Alberini), without forgetting that the UN asks us to strive for a very ambitious goal (Amendola), focusing attention on territories that have their own specific needs (Pietrobon) and always keeping gender equality as a shared horizon, an essential starting point for a development that is truly sustainable (Dundovich).

The participants in the Round Table under the Bell together with Reggente Marco Marsilli, in the center

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