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Moscow, 11–12 December

Moscow Conference highlights convergence of countries’ policies and the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda

ILO-Russia Decent Work conference ends with agreement on the need for more quality jobs as a basis for economic growth.

Press release | 12 December 2012
MOSCOW – The High-Level Conference on Decent Work concluded its two-day meeting by highlighting the increased convergence of countries’ economic and social policies with the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda.

“China is extending social protection and raising minimum wages; South Korea and Argentina have tried to put in motion a virtuous cycle of growth, with jobs and welfare feeding each other; Austria is ensuring that migrant workers benefit from the same protections as Austrian workers,” said ILO Deputy-Director General, Sandra Polaski, in her closing remarks.

Polaski also reminded delegates about a number of challenges that came up at what she called a “milestone” conference.

Debt reduction requires growth, which requires employment and adequate labour market policies."
“In Europe, employment goals have to be balanced against fiscal objectives: there is not necessarily a trade-off here…debt reduction requires growth, which requires employment and adequate labour market policies.”

She also stressed the need for more quality jobs: “Speakers agreed that it was useful to learn from positive reform experiences in this area and that social dialogue was crucial for a sound design of the policies.”

Quality jobs and social protection

Some 900 delegates from more than 80 countries took part in the conference organized by the Russian Government in cooperation with the ILO. Among other issues, delegates agreed on the need:
  • for standards, and core labour standards in particular, as a basis for economic growth and development;
  • for labour markets to be adaptable to promote recovery and inclusive economic growth, while reinforcing respect for rights;
  • to emphasise risk prevention, and tailoring occupational safety and health programmes for small and medium sized enterprises in the context of the on-going economic and social crisis;
  • to have social security systems acting as automatic social and economic stabilizers in times of crisis.
  • for a more integrated approach to promote youth employment, including a strategy for growth and jobs, as well as targeted interventions to help young people overcome labour market barriers;
  • to improve the business-enabling environment, including social dialogue between government and social partners, and integrating small and medium-sized enterprises in local or global value chains.
Polaski also highlighted the long-standing history of cooperation between Russia and the ILO.
"Yesterday we entered a new era of cooperation, with the signature of three key agreements: the programme of cooperation for 2013-2016; the agreement with the Russian Ministry of Finance on the G20 Training Strategy whereby Russia is now joining the donor community; and the launching of the Global partnership between the ILO and Lukoil.”

The ILO Deputy Director-General recalled that this week also marks the beginning of Russia’s presidency of the G20.

“I should like to acknowledge here how much the Russian Federation is committed to making the G20 a success,” she said.

The ILO particularly welcomed the decision to hold a joint G20 Finance and Labour Ministers' Conference under the Russian Presidency.

For more information, please contact Olga Bogdanova at or the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information at or +4122/799-7912.