Review of meeting on ILO report ‘ Global employment and social challenges: Emerging trends and the role of the ILO’

This High-level Section meeting was focused on the discussion of a new ILO report, Global employment and social challenges: Emerging trends and the role of the ILO, reviewing global employment and social trends, and examining the potential for international action to strengthen growth.

The session began at 10:30 with a speech from Governing Body Chairperson and permanent Angolan representative to the UN, Apolinário Jorge Correia, who highlighted the importance of ‘decent work’ and a job rich economic recovery globally, before giving the floor to two guest speakers. The first was Amina Mohammed, special advisor on post 2015 Development planning, who discussed the challenges facing the ILO concerning the creation of Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals. The second was the Turkish Minister for work and social security (Turkey being the holder of the G20 Presidency for 2015) Faruk Celik, who spoke similarly about social and economic issues facing the international community, and the importance of future development focusing on education, healthcare and jobs, stating the importance of real action by the G20 and wider community to achieve this.

The floor was then opened to members of the governing body to speak on the report. First invited to speak was the employers group, which, whilst acknowledging the quality of the ILO’s research, was critical of what they saw as a failure to adequately address the differences in the economic challenges facing different states. Following them was a representative of the workers group, who stated more direct support for the ILO report, whilst highlighting their discontent with ‘draconian’ austerity policies across many states, especially in Europe.
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The chance to speak was then given to the third part of the Governing body – governing states. First to speak were individual states on behalf wider regions, including Algeria speaking for the African group, Brazil, who represented BRICS, and Norway on behalf of the Nordic states. Individual states then commented on the report from individual perspectives, including Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Russia, Argentina, Panama, France and the USA. Whilst an allotted speaking time of five minutes for regional representatives and three for individual states was stated, many ran over, meaning that at the session ran significantly over its scheduled finish time of one o’clock.

Jack Ithell

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