GENEVA (ILO News) – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Mr. Juan Somavia, has welcomed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Governments of Brazil and of the United States to promote South-South and Trilateral Cooperation around the ILO's Decent Work Agenda.
“I am extremely pleased to see that cooperation between two great nations is addressing serious employment and social challenges, including the recovery from the jobs crisis, food and fuel price volatility, and rising social tensions”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia.
The MoU – signed by US Ambassador Thomas Shannon and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota at the start of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Brazil – sets out a series of guidelines under which both governments will promote activities in areas of the ILO’s mandate in countries selected by mutual concurrence.
These areas include: skills development for decent work opportunities; fundamental principles and rights at work; equality of opportunity and treatment at work; occupational safety and health; and social protection.
“I am a firm believer that the more countries share lessons about what works, the more they can adapt home-grown solutions. Brazil and the US, each with their own wealth of experiences, can provide invaluable assistance to countries seeking to move forward in the path of Decent Work and social justice. The ILO will always be there with a helping hand”, added Mr. Somavia.
He also said that “from an ILO perspective, South-South and Trilateral Cooperation harness and multiply the impact of our work. By building on the expertise and experience found in countries at various levels of development, we can exchange key policy practices and improve the outcomes for people and the real economy.”
The ILO is a strong supporter of Trilateral and South-South Cooperation. The ILO-Brazil Partnership Agreement, signed in March 2009, currently encompasses four Programmes (child labour, social protection, forced labour and green jobs), and is being implemented in 9 countries in Africa and Latin America, as well as in Timor Leste. In June 2010, the ILO joined the US and Brazil in signing the first ever triangular agreement to expand the fight against child labour in Haiti. In November 2010, the ILO was also the host of the latest edition of the Global South-South Development Expo.
“The ILO is working to build a sustainable future and a fair globalization creating opportunities for all. The Decent Work Agenda – with its four interconnected pillars of employment, rights at work, social dialogue and social protection – is our main means of action. To achieve this goal the ILO needs partners who are determined and committed. Today, President Roussef and President Obama have again shown they and their countries are true partners in the global challenge for Decent Work”, concluded Mr. Somavia.