WASHINGTON (ILO News) – The Government of Australia and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have signed a five-year Partnership Agreement that will provide $A15 million in the first two years to promote employment and decent work in the Asia-Pacific region.
The partnership agreement will fund initiatives in six areas: (i) the ILO’s Better Work Programme; (ii) labour law reform; (iii) a Pacific growth and employment plan; (iv) youth employment in Timor Leste; (v) green jobs; and (vi) labour migration governance.
The Agreement will provide $A15 million in funding to ILO projects in the Asia-Pacific region for the first two years.
“The Australian Government welcomes this new way to partner with the ILO to improve the lives of working people in our region,” said Senator Mark Arbib of Australia.
“Programs like the ILO’s Better Work Program can make a real difference in reducing poverty, by improving working conditions and living standards for workers, while at the same time supporting businesses. The partnership comes at a critical time for workers and industries in the region, which are dealing with the impact of the global recession,” the Senator said.
María Angélica Ducci, representing ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia, also emphasized the importance of this partnership by stating that “This reinforces our bond with Australia and our strong common commitment to the Global Jobs Pact.”
Ms Sharan Burrow, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and a strong advocate of the Australia-ILO Partnership Agreement (ACTU), said “This is a great step towards further collaboration with the ILO and we hope to expand on this in the very near future.”
Echoing this support, the CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peter Anderson said “the Partnership Agreement represents substantial regional leadership by the ILO and the Australian Government. It also signals that the well-being of labour markets and economies of our near neighbours is important to Australia and the global community.”
The Partnership Agreement was signed by Senator the Honourable Mark Arbib, Minister for Employment Participation and on behalf of the ILO Director-General, by María Angélica Ducci, Executive Director of the Director-General’s Office, at the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ meeting in Washington, DC at the Embassy of Australia to the United States.