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99th International Labour Conference

High-level panel at ILO Conference to discuss future of jobs recovery and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

Leaders from the real economy – government, labour, employers and civil society – are to discuss the impact of the current economic and jobs crises on employment policy and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during a high-level event at the annual conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Press release | 11 June 2010

Two panels have been convened especially for the International Labour Conference on 14 June, from 14:30 to 19:00 in the Assembly Hall at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The discussions come amid growing concern that the sovereign debt crisis and deficit reduction measures, mainly in social spending, could affect jobs and salaries at a time of weak economic recovery and continued high levels of unemployment. ILO Director-General Juan Somavia has called for a “balanced policy convergence strategy” based on securing a job-rich recovery, moving onto a path of strong, sustainable and balanced growth, and addressing the structural imbalances of the global economy that existed before the crisis.

The first high-level panel will discuss ways of forging a job-rich recovery and fostering more sustainable and balanced growth; how employment can become a macroeconomic objective of the same order as low inflation and deficits; how to expand productive investment and private demand to hold down debt ratios; how to ensure that employment strategies are also sound fiscal strategies; and making exit strategies from stimulus measures as “employment friendly” as possible.

A second high-level panel will consider the contribution of productive employment and social protection to realizing faster progress to achieve internationally agreed development goals such as the MDGs; what can be done to give more people the opportunity to access productive jobs and work their way out of poverty; and the key dimensions of social protection as a development and poverty reduction tool.

The discussions will consider the outcomes of the recent G20 meeting of Labour Ministers in Washington in the run up to the Toronto G20 leaders summit later this month, as well as the upcoming summit in September to examine progress in achieving the MDGs by 2015.

Programme of the event

  • Welcome by Mr. Gilles de Robien (France), President of the Conference
  • Keynote address by Mr. Celso Amorim, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brazil
  • Video statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor, United States, on the outcome of the G20 Labour Ministers meeting in Washington
  • Brief summary of the macroeconomic policy discussions over the past week in the Committee for the Recurrent Discussion of Employment by its Chairperson, Mr. Valentin Mocanu, Secretary of State, Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection, Romania.

15:10-17:00 - Panel 1 - The Global Jobs Pact and macroeconomic policy

Moderator: Mr. Simon Long, Asia Editor, The Economist


  • Ms. Sandra Polaski, Deputy Under Secretary, Department of Labor, United States
  • Ms. Maria Helena André, Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity, Portugal
  • Ms. Aisha Abdel Hady, Minister of Manpower and Migration, Egypt
  • Mr. Carlos Tomada, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Argentina
  • Mr. Richard Samans, Managing Director, World Economic Forum
  • Mr. Alberto Nadal, Secretary General, Confederation of Spanish Employers
  • Mr. Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Video statement by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

17:05-18:35 - Panel 2 - The role of productive employment and social protection in realizing internationally agreed development goals and the MDGs

Moderator: Mr. Americo Martins dos Santos. Executive Editor for the Americas, BBC World Service.


  • Mr. Ajay Chhibber, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Mr. Robert Nkili, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Cameroun; Chairperson, African Union Labour and Social Affairs Committee; Government Vice-President of the ILC
  • Dr. Kamal Elkheshen, Vice President, Human Development Department, African Development Bank
  • Mr. Yogendra K. Modi, Chairman and CEO, Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd.
  • Mr. Quintino M. Severo, General Secretary, Central Sindical dos Trabalhadores (CUT), Brazil
  • Mr. Anders Wijkman, Vice-Chairman, Tallberg Foundation and member of the Club of Rome

18:35-18:55 Closing remarks

For more information please contact the Department of Communication and Public Information: +4122/917-6700,