Port Vila, Vanuatu (ILO News): Pacific Island Labour Ministers and social partners have reached an agreement to support a jobs-led recovery by promoting decent work in the Pacific region by adopting the Port Vila Statement on Decent Work and its accompanying ‘Pacific Action Plan for Decent Work’.
The high level tripartite delegates from Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu agreed to a new common framework, which will concentrate on the issues and challenges the Pacific Island countries are facing in tackling the jobs crisis. They affirmed their commitment to the application of the Global Jobs Pact, agreed to by the tripartite constituents at the 2009 International Labour Conference and endorsed by the G20 leaders and the United Nations.
The ILO Regional Director for Asia and Pacific, Sachiko Yamamoto said in a statement to the conference delegation “it is very clear that in spite of signs that the Pacific Islands will gain from a global economic recovery this year, unemployment numbers remain high with many people still struggling to find work. The crisis has also led to a decline in remittances from family members abroad, who are now unemployed. Double-digit youth unemployment in some Pacific member States will become a serious problem if they remain unaddressed.”
The main components of the Action Plan: to improve the quantity and quality of employment through growth and increased job potential; to modernize labour legislation on the basis of International Labour Standards; to assist with reform of existing welfare structures and formal social protection systems with the aim to provide a social floor and facilitate labour market adjustment; and to strengthen dialogue and involvement of social partners in the implementation of short and medium term development strategies related to the Action Plan.
The capacity of labour ministries, social partners and tripartite institutions is too weak in many Pacific Island Countries to facilitate active tripartite contribution to needed reforms. Furthermore, social partners commonly expressed the need for their staff to upgrade their skills in organizing, leading and managing their organizations to provide better services to their members and to strengthen their capacity as development partners.
The Pacific Island Ministers and the social partners committed themselves to incorporating their Decent Work Country Programmes into their respective national development plans, including poverty reduction strategies. The Pacific Action Plan for Decent Work will provide a regional framework for the ILO and development partners to support the Pacific Island Countries in the realization of national priorities and plans.
The Action Plan and Port Villa Statement 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 – 12 February.
For further information on this important meeting please consult the event website at Tripartite High-Level Meeting : Decent Work for Sustainable Development in the Pacific .
For further information please contact:
Mr Trevor Riordan
Cell: +67 9990 6661
Mr Peter Blumel
Vanuatu Mobile: +67 8562 7039
Mr Allan Dow
Regional Communications Officer a.i.
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific +66 2288 2057