Virtual Global Summit

Regional events pave the way for global discussions on COVID-19 and the World of Work

Participants from five ILO regions discussed the challenges of recovery and building back better, and their conclusions will feed into discussions at a ILO virtual Global Summit.

Press release | 03 July 2020
GENEVA (ILO News) – On 1–2 July the ILO held five regional virtual events that addressed the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to build a better future of work.

The discussions were held ahead of three global events taking place between 7–9 July, that will bring together around 70 Heads of State and government, prominent global employer and trade union leaders, the UN Secretary-General and heads of other international organizations.

Over two days, government, employer and worker representatives and academia from across five regions – Africa, the Americas, the Arab States, Asia-Pacific and Europe – discussed the huge costs of the COVID-19 pandemic to their economies, labour markets and societies, and how different countries have responded.

Participants also shared views on how the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, can serve as a roadmap for a human-centered, inclusive and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

These exchanges will inform the global discussions during the summit – the largest ever online gathering of workers, employers and governments.

The pandemic has laid bare the extreme vulnerability of millions of workers and enterprises. According to the latest ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the World of Work, there was a 14 per cent drop globally in working hours during the second quarter of 2020, equivalent to the loss of 400 million full-time jobs. The vast majority of the world’s workers (93 per cent) continue to live in countries with some sort of workplace closures.

Among the issues being discussed at the summit are:
  • How to promote full and productive employment in this new environment.
  • What needs to be done to address the massive vulnerabilities in the world of work made evident by the pandemic.
  • Which workers require particular support and attention.
  • How to position the reduction and elimination of poverty as central objectives of the recovery process.
  • How the international community can come together with real common purpose and rededicate itself to the delivery of the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
Highlights from the regional events will be featured during the first global event on 7 July, along with interviews with ILO Regional Directors.

Addresses from Heads of State and government and prominent global employer and trade union leaders will be delivered on 8 July – Global Leaders Day. UN Secretary-General, António Guterres will also give an address.

On 9 July – ILO Constituents’ Day – ministers, workers’ and employers’ leaders from ILO member States will reflect on the previous days’ events and discuss the implementation of the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work in the context of the pandemic.

Journalists will be able to follow the discussions via the ILO Global Summit web page.