1. As the ADB reported in the Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific (2011), developing Asia has experienced impressive economic growth in recent decades, but the quality of jobs remains inadequate. ILO’s Asia-Pacific Labour Market Update (October 2012) adds that many people make their living in vulnerable and precarious forms of work, where incomes are low or unstable, and access to rights and benefits are very restricted particularly in the informal sector and for migrant workers. Social protection coverage remains extremely limited, particularly for informal workers, the majority of whom are women. Improving the skills of young people entering the labour force, and formalizing informal employment, would generate economic benefits, increase resilience in crisis, and reduce growing income inequality in the region.
2. Building on a decade of collaboration under their Memorandum of Understanding, the ADB and the ILO will promote the creation of decent work in developing Asia and the Pacific in order to reduce poverty and vulnerability. The two organizations will cooperate through active knowledge sharing, joint research and analysis, policy development, advocacy, and technical cooperation. The ADB and the ILO will focus cooperation on technical and vocational training, gender and the labour market, regional integration and employment, core labour standards, collection of employment data, country labour market diagnostics, and social protection systems. The ILO brings to this partnership its unique tripartite structure, which gives equal voice to workers, employers, and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes.
3. Looking ahead, the ADB and the ILO call for accelerated action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. In addition, the ADB and the ILO will actively contribute to the shaping of a post-2015 global development framework that supports a more inclusive, equitable and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.
4. The ADB and the ILO call upon the region to promote greater access to opportunities by expanding human capacities, especially for the disadvantaged, through investments in developing basic social protection floors and the social sectors.
5. The ADB and the ILO also reaffirm their support for internationally-recognized core labour standards.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ms Sophy Fisher
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
+662 (0) 2288 2482
Ms Karen Palmer
Asian Development Bank
+632 632 5331