GENEVA (ILO News) – The turmoil in the global economy makes countries look inwards, precisely at a time when the world needs concerted action to get out of the crisis, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia told delegates
to the International Labour Conference.
|The changing face of production and consumption|
- By 2020, Asia will account for one-third of global consumption
- Increasingly, most growth will come from emerging economies and developing countries
- By 2025 half of all goods will be sourced globally
- By 2050 the working-age population (15-64 years) will have increased by 30 per cent
- The majority of these workers will be in emerging and developing countries
“Countries were affected differently by the economic crisis and have had differing priorities in building their recovery,” he said. In today’s global economy no one country or region can lead on its own and policy coordination has become more complicated just as it has become more important. Somavia recognized that coordination is an “extremely difficult task” but said that the global concern over jobs could be a unifying theme for international cooperation.
“The challenge facing politicians and policy-makers across the world is trying to ensure that when commitments are made internationally that they add up to a coherent global strategy, as well as making sense and being acceptable at home,” said the ILO chief.
Looking at the world ahead, Somavia also warned of the need to listen to the people and respond to their needs. “Increasingly, the diversity of voices in society want to be heard and be part of decision-making from the local to the national level, but also in relation to international organizations.”
“In the world that comes, there will be a premium on creativity, innovation, and new policies based on the respect for the individual,” said the ILO chief.
|Projected trends in global politics|
- Participatory democracy will complement representative democracy: the diversity of voices in society will want to be part of the conversation and of the decision-making from the local to the international level.
- A growing movement towards regionalization will lead to fewer global trade agreements and more regional and interregional economic cooperation agreements.
- Progressive steps towards more financial and monetary cooperation are likely to be taken in some Asian countries over the next decade. This may also happen in other regions. A new global financial design is likely to emerge.
- The role of public-private partnerships will grow, especially in areas such as energy and the environment; transport and infrastructure development; education and capacity -building; making the financial system service the real economy, and transition to new forms of growth and globalization.
- The issue of social justice, fairness and reduction of inequalities will gain ground as the feeling of disconnect between citizens and governmental and private governance grows. Protest and disquiet stemming from an unresolved crisis will continue to have an impact on the political process with the danger of extremist reaction. In this process public policies will be reinforced.