End of year message from the Director, ILO Office for the Caribbean and closure of the Office during the Christmas break

Ms. Coenjaerts speaks of building and even stronger programme for the Caribbean in 2016, focused is on implementation and action.

News | 20 December 2015
As the year draws to an end I want to take a moment to send you my best wishes for the holiday season. I will soon mark six months of my tenure here, and it has been so enriching to meet many of you already and I look forward to visiting the remaining countries soon.

Clearly, our partnerships with you are strong and long-standing, and the relevance of the Decent Work Agenda could not be more prominent. As the “2015 Labour Overview of Latin America and the Caribbean” indicated: unemployment rates are rising as a result of the continued economic slowdown. Increasing informality and a deterioration of the employment situation of youth in particular are significant concerns. Many of the social partners I visited are worried about departing multinationals, near bankruptcy of large state enterprises, closure of companies or simply the lack of new investment and job creation, the challenges of low competitiveness and low productivity. These are real problems that concern us and preoccupy our thoughts. They are urgent and can only be addressed successfully with policies that are constructed through solid social dialogue and policy coherence. It is my hope that the ILO can assist you in that process. We need ingenuity and determination. The ILO has many tools available to help implementation and it is my hope that in 2016 we will continue to build an ever stronger programme for the Caribbean, one where the focus is on implementation and action. The Climate Change Agreement that was just concluded in Paris recognizes that addressing climate change also requires actions in employment and social inclusion. This is of extreme importance to the SIDS and I invite you to engage with us on how a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work in a green economy can be pursued.

I also take this opportunity to let you know that the ILO Office for the Caribbean will be closed from 25 December 2015 to 3 January 2016.

I wish you all a wonderful end of year with your families and loved ones and a prosperous and successful 2016.