ILO Deputy-Director General calls on social partners to get involved in the new development agenda

Press release | Geneva | 21 May 2013
Gilbert Houngbo, Deputy-Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships at the ILO
GENEVA – The Deputy-Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships at the ILO, Gilbert Houngbo, has called on workers and employers to participate actively in the design of the post-2015 development agenda.

In his opening remarks at the Trade Union Meeting of Experts on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which took place at ILO headquarters, Houngbo said that social dialogue can and must play a key role in the discussions for a new model as we approach the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.

“Ensuring the active engagement of the private sector, trade unions and civil society in the design and monitoring of policies to pursue the future goals will be a critical element for success,” said Houngbo.

“The urgency of focussing strongly on jobs is highlighted by the continuing deterioration in the employment outlook in many countries, with young people often hardest hit,” he explained. “A concerted effort by all ILO Constituents is essential to gain and strengthen support to achieve the objective of decent work for all”.

The first results of the UN ‘My World’ global survey, which asked people in 190 countries for their priorities for a post-2015 development agenda, show that “jobs are a high priority everywhere.”

Many participants also mentioned the need for better social protection, especially where jobs are in the informal and unorganized sectors and where economic and social insecurity is high.

According to Dan Cunniah, Director of the ILO Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), the trade union movement should play a crucial role to influence the Post-2015 development agenda.

“No new development agenda should be developed without the active involvement of trade unions to ensure that the agenda is in line with the aspirations of working men and women,” said Cunniah.

For more information, contact: Claude Akpokavie, Senior Adviser, ILO