ILO, ITC-ILO and PIPSO sign Letter of Intent to collaborate on capacity building of Pacific EBMO

The International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Training Centre Programme for Employers Activities (ITC-ILO/ACTEMP), and the Pacific Island Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) have concluded a cooperation agreement to further promote a more structured, strategic and sustainable approach to capacity building of Employer and Business Membership Organizations (EBMO) in the Pacific Islands.

News | 09 September 2020
Work on a framework for enhanced cooperation began following Guy Ryder’s visit to Papua New Guinea in 2019 on the occasion of the Pacific High Level Tripartite Forum, the first ever visit of an ILO Director-General to a Pacific Island state. During this visit, the ILO Director-General met with representatives of Employers from all 11 ILO member states and their regional platform, PIPSO, to discuss priorities and concerns for the private sector in the Pacific. During the exchange, Employers appealed for the ILO’s support to improve the accessibility and availability of the ITC capacity building programmes and for the ILO to formally recognize PIPSO as the regional body to represent employers – a call which was reinforced by the Employers Group in their final recommendations delivered to the High Level Tripartite Forum.

With negotiations concluded, the letter of intent was signed by PIPSO, ITC-ILO/ACTEMP, ILO-ACT/EMP and ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries and came into forced on 08 September 2020. The agreement covers major areas such as:
  • an assessment of needs, infrastructure and capacity for training services and organizational development of EBMO;
  • development of a regional framework for capacity building with the broad objective of promoting efficient and effective allocation of time, resources and institutional capacity while focusing on those areas where there are maximum potential for regional co-operation and synergies; and
  • training to increase EBMO capacity to perform and deliver services in the areas of reputation and crisis management, lobbying and advocacy, membership strategies for EBMO, strategic financial management and productivity.
“This agreement with the ILO and ITC opens new areas of cooperation that will assist the Pacific NPSOs to be strong, independent and representative organizations that support good policy outcomes which create employment and improve living standards for our Pacific people,” said PIPSO Chairperson, Stephen Lyon. 

“The signing of this letter of cooperation with PIPSO is a historical moment that will improve the accessibility, availability and sustainability of our services to EBMO in the Pacific at this critical period in time,” said ITC Programme Manager for Employers Training Activities, Jorge Illingworth. 

“The ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries supports national employers’ organizations in 11 Pacific Island Countries. We will continue working with PIPSO and its members in their vision to contribute to the Pacific’s economic growth through a vibrant private sector that creates jobs through enterprise and entrepreneurship development,” said Director of the ILO Country Office for Pacific Island Countries, Matin Karimli.

“Employers organizations in the Pacific have been clear in their calls for demand driven, needs based and impactful capacity building programmes that assist them to innovate and adapt to changes in the world of work, this agreement is a significant milestone for all parties on the path to achieving this objective,” said Director of the Bureau of Employers Activities (ACT/EMP), Deborah France-Massin.

The Letter of Intent shall remain in force until December 2021 and includes a stated aspiration to update and renew the agreement from January 2022 to December 2023.