GENEVA (ILO News) – The Minister-President of the Flemish Government (Belgium), Mr. Kris Peeters signed a new Cooperation Agreement with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The signing ceremony was attended by a high-level tripartite Flemish delegation, including Mr. Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Finance, Budget, Work, Town and Country Planning and Sport, as well as the leading representatives of workers and employers in the Flemish Social and Economic Council and the Belgian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.
Flanders is a long-standing partnership donor to the ILO, with the first Cooperation Agreement dating back to 1997 and the technical cooperation to 1991. The new Agreement is fully in line with the principles of the Paris Declaration for Aid Effectiveness. It builds a broader policy framework for Flanders/ILO cooperation and establishes the rules for management of all voluntary contributions from the Flemish Government. It will also promote the Decent Work Agenda in Flemish internal and external policies, and facilitate dialogue between government, the ILO and the social partners.
The principal funding modality used by the partners is the ILO/Flanders Trust Fund through which the Flemish Government provides regular contributions to the ILO technical cooperation programme. The objectives of the Trust Fund are to strengthen tripartism and social dialogue, to promote application of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and to foster environmentally sustainable development.
The new Framework Agreement also prioritizes efforts to promote decent work and employment in the South Africa Development Community (SADC). In 2010 the Flemish Government substantially increased its contribution to the ILO, with the approval of €4.5 million for the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises in the Free State Province, South Africa.