Jobs-led recovery and plan for sustainable decent work at ILO high level meeting of ten Pacific member States at Port Vila, Vanuatu, 8–9 February 2010

In the aftermath of the global economic downturn and a lingering jobs crisis, the ILO is convening a high-level meeting on Decent Work for Sustainable Development in the Pacific from 8 to February in Vanuatu.

Press release | 03 February 2010

Port Vila, Vanuatu (ILO News): In the aftermath of the global economic downturn and a lingering jobs crisis, the International Labour Organization is convening a high-level meeting on Decent Work for Sustainable Development in the Pacific from 8 to 9 February in Vanuatu.

Since 2007, the ILO and its Constituents of Government, worker and employer organizations in the Pacific have been stepping up coordinated efforts to develop a longer term strategy to promote the development of sustainable decent work across the subregion.

The tripartite delegates from Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu will discuss a new sub-regional strategy, the ‘Pacific Action Plan for Decent Work.’ This plan will concentrate on the issues and challenges Pacific Island countries face tackling the jobs crisis, support existing regional strategies and initiatives and will look for solutions through the promotion of economic growth and an increased commitment to decent, productive and sustainable work for all women and men in the Pacific.

The Action Plan and Tripartite conclusions will be presented for further consideration by the wider Pacific and United Nations community at the Pacific conference on The Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis which also takes place in Port Vila, Vanuatu from 10 to 12 February.

Although there are signs that the Pacific Islands will benefit from a global economic recovery this year, unemployment numbers remain high with many people still struggling to find work. The crisis led to a decline in remittances of family members abroad, who are now unemployed. Double-digit youth unemployment in some Pacific member States is also a serious problem.

“It is clear that avoiding a jobless recovery is the political priority of today,” said Mr Juan Somavia, ILO Director-General. “We need to focus on a jobs-led recovery.”

Faced with the prospect of a prolonged global jobs crisis, the ILO’s member States adopted a Global Jobs Pact last year which was backed by the United Nations and G20 leaders. It provides an impetus for crisis recovery efforts by stimulating the economy, generating jobs and providing protection to working people and their families. The ILO Pacific meeting will consider the options within the Global Jobs Pact as their applications relate to the Pacific.

The “ILO Green Jobs Initiative” will also be presented to the delegates. Green jobs are defined as work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. Specifically, but not exclusively, this includes jobs that help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, materials, and water consumption through high efficiency strategies; de-carbonize the economy; and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution.

Development partners, including the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, other United Nations agencies, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, certain donor countries and the European Union will also be invited to attend the meeting as observers.

For further information on this important meeting please consult the event website for updates: Tripartite High-Level Meeting : Decent Work for Sustainable Development in the Pacific.

For further information please contact:

Mr Peter Blumel
ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries

Mr Allan Dow
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +662 288 2057