Crisis response

ECOSOC adopts new resolution on ILO Jobs Pact implementation

Jobs Pact policies and ILO social protection floor on UN ECOSOC agenda in 2010-2011

News | 30 August 2010

The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations adopted by consensus a new resolution on the Global Jobs Pact and ways of implementation. The resolution expands on a similar text adopted last year, and sends a strong message supporting a job-intensive recovery from the global financial crisis. It ensures the issue will remain on the Council’s agenda for consideration next year.

The Council stressed that recovering from the world financial and economic crisis and giving effect to the policy options of the Global Jobs Pact required financing and capacity-building. Least developed, developing and transition countries lacking the fiscal space to adopt appropriate recovery policies required particular support. Donors, multilateral organizations and other development partners were invited to consider providing funding.

The global efforts undertaken by international bodies to give full effect to the Global Jobs Pact were also recognized by the delegates. Following the Memorandum of Understanding between ILO and UNDP to promote the Pact, the Council called on all other United Nations funds and programmes to emulate these efforts and maintain the issue of crisis recovery on the agenda, as many countries risk a double-dip recession in the coming months.

The measures advocated by the Pact – labour-intensive investments in infrastructure, support to small and medium enterprises, job retention measures, skills and employment services, targeted public employment schemes, comprehensive social security provisions, wage policies and stronger collective bargaining institutions – have proven efficient in stemming the rise in unemployment.

Gender-sensitive and social protection policies at the core of ECOSOC agenda

The 2010 ECOSOC Substantive Session was described by the Council President, Hamidon Ali, of Malaysia, as “groundbreaking”. The Ministerial Declaration 2010 calls for integrated, comprehensive, multisectoral and gender-responsive approaches to the achievement of the MDGs, by developing and implementing gender-sensitive policies and programmes aimed at promoting women’s economic empowerment, through:

    - enhancing their access to full and productive employment and decent work and to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value;

    - supporting women’s technical, managerial and entrepreneurial capacities and initiatives;

    - ensuring sustainable and adequate income-generation and empowering women as equal partners with men in these domains;

    - facilitating women’s access to social protection schemes, provide adequate social safety nets;

    - strengthening State-based and community-based support systems as an integral part of social policy, in order to enable women and girls, particularly those living in poverty, to withstand adverse economic environments and so as to contribute to their well-being.

In addition to the ILO report “Recovering from the crisis: a Global Jobs Pact”, the Council reviewed the annual report of the UN system Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB) and adopted the resolution E/2010/L.13, which stresses the importance of strengthening health systems and improving coordinated health-care service delivery as they relate to the Millennium Development Goals. Taking note of the Social Protection Floor Initiative, led by the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization, the Council requested relevant entities of the United Nations system to support efforts by Member States to strengthen health systems in delivering equitable health outcomes, including through the promotion of:

    - training and retention policies for a skilled workforce;

    - an extended social protection, in particular for the poor and people in vulnerable situations, with adequate attention paid to preventive health and healthcare services;

    - decent work, including decent working conditions for health workers, which are essential in order to improve the quality of and access to health services;

    - appropriate incentive policies for the training, recruitment and retention of health workers in order to increase universal access to health services, including in remote and rural areas.

For more information about the Global Jobs Pact and its implementation at national level, please contact