Every four years, the ILO Asian Regional Meeting brings together the political, economic and social actors from some 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific and 11 Arab States in West Asia. At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Korea, the ILO Fourteenth Asian Regional Meeting (14th AsRM) will be held in Busan, Republic of Korea, at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre (BEXCO) from 29 August to 1 September 2006.
The Meeting is focused on the role of productive employment in people-centred development. At the United Nations World Summit in September 2005, world leaders made explicit reference to ILO employment goals and strongly endorsed fair globalization, full and productive employment and decent work for all as “a central objective of our relevant national and international policies as well as our national development strategies, including poverty reduction strategies, as part of our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals” (paragraph 47 of the Outcome Document). The Meeting is opportune for transmitting and amplifying this international commitment to addressing the global jobs crisis and, very importantly, for focusing on practical outcomes to make decent work a reality in the region.
The overall theme of the 14th AsRM is Realizing Decent Work in Asia. The concept of decent work encompasses employment creation and enterprise promotion, social protection, rights at work and social dialogue. The Meeting will identify the opportunities and challenges for realizing decent work as the main pathway out of poverty and for creating a more productive and equitable society in Asia. In addition to providing a regional platform for the sharing of experiences on these issues, the aims of the Meeting are:
- To identify concrete and practical steps to be taken and specific outcomes to be achieved to make decent work a reality in Asia;
- To solicit specific commitments to achieve these outcomes, importantly through tripartism and social dialogue and innovative regional partnership efforts; and
- To define and support the role of the Office in contributing to these outcomes.
The Director-General of the ILO will present two reports at this 14th AsRM. The first report on Decent work in Asia Reporting on results 2001-2005 describes how the ILO has been helping countries to give people a fair chance at a decent job mainly through efforts at local and national levels. The second report on Realizing decent work in Asia calls on countries to take the next steps to make decent work a reality by going global and regional.
The programme for the Meeting will include the following:
- Plenary Sessions: to discuss the Director-General’s reports.
- Panel of Heads of State and Government: The proposed topic for the panel is: “Decent work in the 21st century: Asia’s leading role”. Asian Heads of State and Government will share their country’s experience of providing decent jobs for their labour force in a period of turbulent economic, social and demographic change and suggest how regional cooperation can facilitate their efforts.
- Panel of Heads of Regional and International Organizations: The proposed topic for the panel is: “Decent work in the 21st century: Making it a reality through strategic partnerships”. The Heads of Regional and International Organizations and senior representatives of workers and employers organizations will highlight examples where strategic partnerships and cooperation among the tripartite partners and with other regional and international organizations and civil society groups at national or regional levels have promoted decent work, identify constraints and suggest ways for strengthening partnerships.
- Special Session for Labour Ministers: This session hosted by the Minister of Labour of the Republic of Korea will provide the opportunity for Labour Ministers to discuss the theme of "Developing workers" skills for decent jobs in a globalization context".
- Parallel Sessions: to promote active discussion among participants on the following themes:
- Competitiveness, productivity and jobs in a globalizing context;
- Labour market governance for realizing decent work in Asia;
- The Millennium generation: decent jobs for young people;
- Labour migration: regional strategy towards implementation of the ILO multilateral framework.
- Information Sessions: to report on new and major areas of ILO work:
- Follow-up to the Maritime Convention;
- Technical Cooperation and Decent Work Country Programmes;
- Regional Skills Network of Partner Organizations;
- Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health.
- A number of Social Events.