GENEVA (ILO News) – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization Juan Somavia today welcomed the strong support of the G8 summit meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, for the Global Jobs Pact agreed by governments, employers and workers, at the International Labour Conference three weeks ago, to tackle the global jobs crisis.
“The G8 support for the Jobs Pact is a major step in the response of the international community to the crisis,” Mr. Somavia said from L’Aquila, where he is participating in the G8 Summit, adding that the ILO also welcomed the commitment of the G8 “to address the human dimension of the crisis and to restore growth on a stronger footing.”
The Global Jobs Pact is an urgent call to put employment and social protection at the heart of recovery policies. It is a productive growth agenda for the recovery of the real economy, based on the ILO Decent Work Agenda. The Pact drew strong support during a three-day Global Jobs Summit held during the ILO’s annual Conference in June.
The Global Jobs Pact “...is relevant to respond to the crisis at worldwide level and advance the social dimension of globalisation,” the G8 Declaration said. “Social and employment policies are a crucial pillar in the context of a new global framework. (..) Advanced, emerging and developing countries as well as international organisations should work together to ensure employment-oriented growth and promote social cohesion.(..) Governments and enterprises should not use the crisis as an excuse to diminish compliance with worker rights or to diminish worker protections.”
Mr. Somavia also welcomed the invitation of the G8 Declaration to “...international organisations, in particular the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to enhance their cooperation and to improve coherence.” Mr Somavia added that this was essential to enable developing countries in particular to implement the Global Jobs Pact with the required policy space and resources.
In addition, the G8 Declaration cites the ILO in its call for “enhanced efforts to avoid wider consequences of the financial crisis and to promote responsible business practices” and “dissemination of internationally-recognised voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards.”
Mr. Somavia presented the Global Jobs Pact to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 2009 High-level Segment on Monday 6 July 2009.
The Global Jobs Pact proposes a portfolio of practical, operational policy options, tried and tested policies that have worked well in many countries, that can be tailored to each national situation.
Mr Somavia stated: “If we all decide to address head on the global jobs crisis, if we act in a coordinated manner, if there is a quantum jump in cooperation across multilateral bodies, then yes we can accelerate recovery, shorten the length and depth of the jobs crisis and protect the most vulnerable from long term damage. And in doing this we can build a world which is economically, socially, environmentally and politically sustainable.