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Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Labour and Employment

ILO Director-General: BRICS countries play a key role in tackling global world of work challenges

Guy Ryder has renewed the ILO’s commitment to supporting BRICS countries as they address social and economic issues.

Press release | 27 July 2017
CHONGQING, China (ILO News) – The weight and experience of BRICS countries is essential to addressing the major challenges faced by the global economy, said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, in his opening address at the 3rd BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers’ meeting in Chongqing.

“The strategic position of the BRICS countries and their weight and dynamism in the global economy means that you are all addressing these challenges globally and nationally,” he said, stressing the importance of coordination and sharing of experience and good practice.

Ryder underlined that the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – represent 48 per cent of the global population and 21 per cent of the world’s production. “The BRICS group – as it approaches its 10th anniversary – has established itself as a key actor on the international stage and in many areas of policy-making. It is of the highest significance that labour and employment policy seems now to be firmly established as one of its priorities,” he said.

The ILO Director-General commended the steps the five nations have taken to promote social security cooperation and to establish a network of labour research institutes. In addition, he expressed “particular appreciation” for the role and presence of the BRICS social partners who are “vital to the work we do and that we will continue to do together”.

Ryder noted that the agenda of the Chongqing meeting is strongly aligned with two crucial global processes: The United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the ILO Centenary Initiative on the Future of Work.

He added that the Initiative is entering its second stage with the launch of a high-level Global Commission on the Future of Work in Geneva. The Commission will report to the centenary International Labour Conference (ILC) in 2019.

Ryder said he was confident that the Chongqing meeting and the final declaration will contribute effectively to strengthening a “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future” ahead of the BRICS Leaders’ Summit in Xiamen in September.

“It is after all a fundamental desire of people across the world, above all in this period of transformative change and sometimes of uncertainty, that they can look forward and contribute to a better future of work – one with social justice and prosperity and decent work for all,” he concluded.