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307th ILO Governing Body 11-26 March 2010

ILO Governing Body underscores role of Global Jobs Pact in accelerating recovery in employment

The Governing Body of the International Labour Office held extensive discussions on the effect given to the Global Jobs Pact adopted by the International Labour Conference in June 2009. The meeting also examined a number of issues regarding fundamental rights at work, including the latest report of the Committee on Freedom of Association.

Press release | 29 March 2010

GENEVA (ILO News) – The Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO) examined the effect given to the Global Jobs Pact at its meeting here on 11-26 March and took a number of decisions regarding fundamental rights at work. Governing Body members held several sessions to discuss the effect given to the Pact adopted by the ILO’s International Labour Conference in June 2009 to address the employment and social effects of the economic and financial crisis, including a meeting of its Working Part on the Social Dimension of Globalization.

In a statement to the Governing Body regarding the Global Jobs Pact, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said: “Getting those who have lost jobs back to work and ensuring that millions of young women and men who start looking for work each year get a good start in their working lives is vital. If we don’t, a social and political backlash is looming on the horizon in many countries – and we can already see signs of this.”

Mr. Somavia acknowledged that international coordination had been crucial to averting a global depression, adding that “we have a long way to go to improve our policy coordination mechanisms” and that the discussions had shown that “a rather large number of countries are not able to participate in coordinated stimulus measures and that our international support mechanisms are not providing them with the scale of countercyclical finance they need, on terms they can afford. This is holding back more vigorous action along the lines envisaged in the Global Jobs Pact.”

The Governing Body also heard addresses by United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) President Dr. Compton Bourne. Ms. Clark said: “For nations seeking to emerge from the recession in a way which is fair and just, the Global Jobs Pact paves the way.” Dr. Bourne addressed the Governing Body on the impact of the global economic crisis on developing economies and the role of multilateral development banks. (See press release ILO/10/08)

Both speakers expressed support for the Global Jobs Pact as an extremely relevant mechanism to support both developing and developed countries’ efforts to boost recovery, create more and better jobs and reduce poverty. They also looked forward to deepening collaboration with the ILO to shape an employment-intensive recovery that favoured the real economy.

The Governing Body also considered developments in Myanmar with respect to forced labour on the basis of a report by the ILO Liaison Officer in Yangon. In its conclusions, the Governing Body noted that while the recommendations of the ILO Commission of Inquiry for compliance with the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), have still not been implemented, the further extension until 25 February 2011 of the trial period of the Supplementary Understanding, agreed during the High Level ILO mission visit, as an encouraging step.

The Committee on Freedom of Association drew the special attention of the Governing Body to the cases of Colombia, Djibouti, Guatemala, the Philippines and in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.