Employment promotion

Video message transcript for the launch of the online employment sevices platform, Cook Islands

by Mr. Matin Karimli, Director, ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries, 31st July 2020

Statement | Suva, Fiji | 30 July 2020
Honourable Minister Brown, Honourable Minister Mokoroa, ILO tripartite partners,  Secretary Internal affairs,  Ladies and gentlemen,

Kiorana to all of you from the ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries. It is my pleasure to provide this video message, I only wish I were with you in person for this launch.
This is my 6th month with the ILO Pacific office and I am very glad to have been engaged with partners across the Pacific region to overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic. The International Labour Organisation has developed a global policy framework for tackling the economic and social impact of the COVID-19, which calls for a human-centered response. The framework is based on four Pillars:

• Stimulating the economy and employment
• Supporting enterprises, jobs and incomes
• Protecting workers in the workplace
• And relying on the social dialogue for solutions

Today I am very excited along with my team to provide support, within the framework of the joint UN Social Protection Project on “Strengthening of Pacific island states through universal social protection” to the launch of the Employment Services platform.

In addition to this, the ILO is supporting Cook Islands in:
1. Completion of the labour Force Survey
2. Designing of an effective dispute resolution system
3. Undertaking ratification of the ILO convention on Social Protection
4. Reviewing the Employment relations Act, to name a few.

Ladies and Gentlemen. The global pandemic has contracted many economies worldwide, including more developed countries. The price is even higher to pay in the Pacific as it adds to regular natural disasters and climate change. While many of those islands have fewer or no COVID-19 cases, yet the pandemic has enormously affected economies and labour markets, including in the Cook Islands.

I strongly believe that the ILO tripartite partners, UN Organisations, Development partners and donors need to work together to ensure that decent work is delivered with a human-centred approach to the future of work, targeting those most in needs.

Initiatives such as the Employment Services are at the core of sound strategies that should be designed to target those areas and population the most affected by COVID-19 as well as persistent natural disasters. The platform provides the means and shows the commitment of the Government of Cook Islands to provide the opportunities not only for Cook Islander but also for many others willing to work in the country.

The Pacific may be small in land size, but it holds the largest and deepest ocean basin on earth. Let our voyage together in the Pacific promote social justice and decent work for all. I reiterate the preamble of the ILO’s Constitution that “Universal and lasting peace can only be established if it is based upon social justice.

I wish you all the very best and look forward to meeting you in person soon. Meitaki