Delivering on decent work for the new development agenda

The Group of Friends of Decent Work for Sustainable Development meet regularly to discuss the implementation of the decent work targets as part of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

News | 24 February 2015
Ambassadors and key high level UN delegates gathered on 3 February in the second meeting of the Group of Friends of Decent Work for Sustainable Development to discuss the implementation of the decent work targets as part of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The meeting was hosted by Ambassador Simona Miculescu of Romania in her capacity of chair of the 53rd Commission on Social Development (CSoD) and presided by Ambassador Gaspar Martins of Angola, co-chair of the Group of Friends.

In his opening remarks, Mr Gaspar Martins recalled that the OWG’s outcome document brings a strong call for decent work for all and inclusive growth. “The challenge ahead of us now is to discuss how to deliver on the promises of social protection for all and decent work for all. What are the means of implementation that could be mobilized in particular in least development countries? How can we monitor and follow up on the implementation?” The Ambassador insisted that social protection and decent work are key issues for all governments regardless of their level of development

Mr Pascal Buffin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Belgium, emphasized the need to further elaborate on the means of implementation and accountability mechanisms, stressing that implementation of social protection floors has been included as part of the discussions on Financing for Development leading to the Addis Ababa conference.

The guest speaker, Mr Gilbert Houngbo, ILO Deputy Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships, asserted that the targets on decent work and social protection included in the OWG document are technically sound, measurable, action-oriented, doable and consistent with the related international agreements. As the focus shifts to implementation, he highlighted how the ILO can contribute in designing effective indicators based on labour statistics’ definitions agreed by member states and datasets consolidated by the ILO.

He also mentioned that the ILO’s supervisory structure could support the P2015 monitoring and accountability mechanisms and its tripartite nature constitutes a comparative advantage in building partnerships. Finally, Mr Houngo said that in implementing the targets, it is fundamental to link the operational and the normative and to bring the internationally agreed labour standards in as a core reference.

Mrs Anne Drouin, ILO Chief Actuary, focused on the implementation of social protection floors. She recalled that the ILO’s Recommendation 202 concerning national floors of social protection should be the base for framing the target and to guide action at global and national levels. She presented core ILO indicators on social protection coverage that could be used to monitor progress. She showed ILO estimations demonstrating that the development of floors of social protection is feasible even in low income countries.

The conclusions of the meeting will serve as background material for the intergovernmental negotiations on the Post 2015 sustainable development agenda.