Statement summary

ILO panel discussion for the launch of “Dealing with crises arising from conflicts and disasters"

Launch of the training manual for workers’ organizations on dealing with crisis arising from conflicts and disasters

News | 06 April 2022
On April 6, “Dealing with crises arising from conflicts and disasters” was launched. This new publication was produced by ILO-ACTRAV in collaboration with the ILO-CSPR of DEVINVEST and the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

During the launch, a panel discussed the importance of social dialogue in conflict and disasters, as well as the role of the ILO, its social partners, and international labour standards in crisis situations.

panel - Ms Tsukamoto, Ms France-Massin, and Ms NewtonMartha Newton (Deputy Director-General for Policy, ILO), Mito Tsukamoto (Branch Chief, DEVINVEST, ILO), and Deborah France-Massin (Director, ACT/EMP, ILO) made introductory statements for the event.

Ms Tsukamoto acknowledged the relevance of the quote by Jan Eliasson - also shared by Ms Newton - "Without peace there is no development, and without development there is no peace", but she added that in the context of conflicts and disasters, solidarity - the force behind trade unions - is also vital. As Jose Manuel Barroso put it “there is no stability without solidarity and no solidarity without stability”. This combination of development and solidarity will greatly contribute to stability and peace, she said.

Ms Tuskamoto thanked ACTRAV and the colleagues whose successful collaboration produced this guide and predicted that it will be of great importance in the current global situation, sitting as it does at the nexus of humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and resilience. She emphasised that it comes at a time when peace and the renewing of a global social contract is needed at the centre of the world order; when the participation of national stakeholders is necessary for the world to move towards a human-centred and peace and conflict-responsive approach to crisis; and when we need effective strategies for bridging various divides in societies.

She stressed that there must be consistent engagement with national and local labour institutions and investments in the public and private sector to ensure local ownership, enable national policy support and be able to break away from aid dependency.

This timely manual enables participants to be able to do three things at the end of undertaking such guidance:
  1. Understand how conflicts and disasters affect workplaces and workers, while contributing to the analysis of the causes and drivers of crises, and their effects on societies and the world of work.
  2. Recognize the potential of workers’ organizations to make vital contributions to the prevention and resolution of conflicts and to the mitigation of disaster effects, as well as efforts related to preparedness, humanitarian response, recovery and reconstruction, and ultimately sustainable peace and resilience.
  3. Acknowledge the importance of fostering strong ties and building alliances with regional and international networks of workers’ organizations, as well as UN partners and other institutions at local and national level.
Ms Tsukamoto stressed that workers' organizations can play a crucial role in championing international labour standards across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.

In conclusion, she highlighted the fact that crises are multi-dimensional and as such require multilateralism, based on principles of consultation, inclusion and solidarity – to address the root causes of conflicts and grievances. She added that tackling such complex situations cannot be done without strong partnerships and social dialogue with Governments, UN partners, social partners and with academics and research centres.

Lastly she thanked the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs for supporting the development of this guide.