This story was written by the ILO Newsroom For official ILO statements and speeches, please visit our “Statements and Speeches” section.

ILO Chief: Global economy at turning point, time to rethink policies

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia outlines measures to create decent jobs and preserve incomes for working families around the world.

News | 02 July 2012
NEW YORK (ILO news) – The head of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Juan Somavia, has urged United Nations member-states to think creatively and to build together a new path for a fairer, greener and more sustainable future.

He said the current model of growth and globalization had clearly failed, with unemployment at unacceptably high levels - especially for youth -, productive investment stagnated and inequality on the rise.

He was speaking at the UN’s platform on economic and social issues – ECOSOC – which has just started its annual meeting.

According to Mr. Somavia, concern over jobs can be a powerful theme for international cooperation, as no country is immune to it.

He called for stronger policies to boost productive capacities, to create opportunities for decent jobs and to safeguard the incomes of working families.

To achieve this, he proposed four measures:
  • Tackling youth employment on the basis of the Action Plan on youth employment adopted by the International Labour Conference on 14 June 2012;
  • Expanding access to basic social protection based on the landmark international labour standard on social protection floors adopted by the same Conference;
  • Improved coherence and coordination between macroeconomic and employment policies, trade and development policies, social and environmental policies.
  • Reconstructing global governance institutions and how they connect to national systems.
Mr. Somavia concluded with an urgent call to connect to “people’s concerns. That means listening well and acting quickly.”