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Post 2015 Development Agenda

Beyond the MDGs: It’s all about jobs and livelihoods

As the debate on the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda gathers pace, the ILO says the most pressing priorities are job creation and social protection.

News | 18 November 2012
GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for jobs and livelihoods to be at the heart of the development agenda after the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) passes in 2015.

“Job creation is the most pressing global development priority,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “A decent job is the best way out of poverty and it’s also the way economies grow. Jobs mean development.”

Job creation is the most pressing global development priority.”
Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
“By contrast, where jobs are scarce or where available livelihoods leave families in poverty, there is less growth, less security and less human and economic development,” he added.

The ILO estimates that 45 – 50 million new jobs will be needed every year for the next ten years to keep up with the numbers of people entering the labour market.

The organization is calling for jobs to be a central goal of the post-2015 development framework, which will be drawn up by the United Nations and other international bodies as a follow-up to the MDGs.

“We need decent work – including full employment - as a goal in its own right,” said the ILO Chief.

Full and productive employment and decent work was added to the original MDGs but only as a sub-target of the goal to halve poverty and hunger by 2015.

We need decent work – including full employment - as a goal in its own right.”
Guy Ryder
But since the MDGs were adopted in 2000, many countries have moved further away from full employment because of the global financial and economic crisis.

Given this changed landscape, “Setting full employment and decent work as an explicit goal and target will focus the attention of policy makers and development practitioners on this critical need,” Ryder explained.

A global framework would encourage knowledge sharing and global partnerships. It would also promote fairness, equal opportunity and workers’ rights.

To support this proposed goal, the ILO will also push for well-designed national social protection systems to protect the most vulnerable groups.

“Setting a goal of full employment and decent work can contribute to balanced and stable growth in global consumer demand and can benefit countries and communities,” Ryder said. “But the most importan thing is that it can help change the lives of billions of people for the better..”

The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that UN member states committed to achieve by the year 2015.