Embracing the potential of the ILO's Decent Work Agenda
Specifically, paragraph 12 commits to delivering social protection and essential public services for all and forging a new social compact with fiscally sustainable and nationally appropriate social protection systems including Social Protection Floors. Countries are encouraged to consider setting nationally appropriate spending targets in this regard. The Declaration recognizes the need for increased international support for of the extension of social protection to all and commits to addressing this gap by “exploring coherent funding modalities to mobilize additional resources, building on country-led experiences.”
Paragraph 16 commits to prioritize the generation of full and productive employment and decent work for all and promoting MSMEs. Towards this objective, leaders pledge to ensure decent work becomes a central objective of national development strategies and encourages full and equal participation in the formal labour market. They also agree to work with private actors and development banks to promote affordable and stable access to credit to MSMEs, encourage formalization and provide adequate skills development and training particularly for youth. National youth strategies will be promoted and governments commit to develop and operationalize by 2020 a global strategy for youth employment as well as implement the ILO Global Jobs Pact.
The goal of decent work for all is one that requires the full range of policies working together coherently. Labour market and social policies are important but cannot realize full and productive employment alone."Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
Also during the Conference, the ILO and the Government of Sweden co-hosted a high-level side event on ‘Financing Development through Decent Work’. The side event focused on full and productive employment and decent work for all as a primary source of resources for development by generating a virtuous cycle of income that boosts consumption, spurs demand and increases rates of savings to finance private and public investment. Mr. Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister of Sweden delivered a keynote address at the event where he called for a new global partnership centered on decent work, or a new ‘Global Deal’, to ensure benefits of globalization were shared by all. He stated that the core of this partnership must rest on the vision of shared responsibility, where joint solutions were developed by governments, employers and trade unions. The event also featured perspectives from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), who represent the voice of the ILO social partners as well as government representatives from key partner countries of Belgium, Brazil and South Africa.
As we move from debate and discussion to implementation, the ILO is uniquely placed given its tripartite membership to maximize its role in the new partnerships that must drive the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. The Global Jobs Pact can be utilized to develop a more systematic approach for job creation at the national level which in turn can help mobilize domestic resources, attract FDI and prioritize investments in favour of job creation and create the fiscal space to invest in decent work. Such investments would help reduce dependence on foreign borrowing and aid as important sources of investment and growth.