Spotlight falls on decent work in Pacific Island States

Progress towards building a sustainable future and implementing decent work for countries in the Pacific was highlighted at a special event held during the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

Press release | 18 June 2010

GENEVA - (ILO News): Progress towards building a sustainable future and implementing decent work for countries in the Pacific was highlighted at a special event held during the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

The high level side event introduced ILC participants (employers, workers and government representatives) and the Pacific’s development partners to the Port Vila Statement on Decent Work and the Pacific Action Plan for Decent Work. It also highlighted the role of the ILO’s Global Jobs Pact.

The measures were presented by the Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development of Kiribati, Mr Ioteba Redfern. Ministers from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, who are in Geneva for the ILC, also took part in the presentation, along with representatives of their Workers’ and Employers’ organizations, known as the Social Partners.

The Port Villa Statement on Decent Work and the Pacific Action Plan were adopted by the ILO’s Pacific member States, and their workers’ and employers’ organizations in February 2010, reflecting their commitment to a jobs-led recovery from the global economic crisis.

The Global Jobs Pact was unanimously adopted by the ILO’s 183 member States in 2009, in response to the global economic and employment crisis. It is designed to guide national and international policies for recovery, placing job protection and creation at the heart of crisis response packages.

The high level event was held on Thursday 17 June 2010 at the ILO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It was opened by Ms Sachiko Yamamoto, Regional Director, ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. “The Port Vila Statement provides a clear vision for Decent Work in the Pacific,” she told the guests. “[It] reaffirms the commitment of the tripartite constituents in the Pacific to the application of the Global Jobs Pact as the key ILO strategy for dealing with the effects of the global economic crisis, along with the impact of climate change, which is a major issue for many Pacific island countries”.

Following the Ministerial presentations, Mr Trevor Riordan, ILO Director a.i. for South Pacific Island Countries briefed guests on developments in the campaign to promote Decent Work in the Pacific. Of the eight ILO member States in the region, six have already agreed their national Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs) which place the building blocks for creating decent work at the heart of national development strategies and ensure that ILO assistance and expertise is targeted to support these objectives. Two more DWCPs will be signed shortly.

Analysis of the DWCPs have identified a number of common priority areas which form the basis of the Pacific Action Plan, Mr Riordan said. These can be grouped as labour market governance, employment and growth, expanding social protection and building up the capacity of the tripartite partners. Other priority work areas for ILO assistance include youth employment, skills development, climate change and green jobs, maritime issues and better labour market information.

The International Labour Conference is the annual meeting of the ILO’s membership and brings together more than 4,000 delegates, representing the Governments, Workers’ and Employers’ organizations of the 183 member states of the ILO, which is the United Nations specialized agency concerned with work and workplace issues.

For more information please contact:

Mr Peter Blumel
Information Officer
ILO Country Office for South Pacific Island Countries
Tel: +679 3313866
Email