IntroductionRecent disaster impacts in the Pacific have accounted for 30-60% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Tropical Cyclone Pam (2015) resulted in lost personal income of up to U$14.8 million and lost work days amounting to 504,050.1 Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji (2016) resulted in loss of 14,450,129 work days and lost personal income of U$175.6m. The total estimated effects (damage and loss) of the productive sectors were U$418.15 for Fiji and Vt18.9m for Vanuatu. Vanuatu and Tonga are ranked number one and two in the world for most vulnerable and at risk with Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Kiribati among the top 15 nations at risk of natural disasters Climate change will continue to be one of, if not, the most significant challenges to the future of the Pacific SIDS and there is mounting recognition and an urgency to identify effective strategies to strengthen the adaptive capacity and resilience of the labour market and institutions to prevent livelihoods and job losses and reduce the impact on production capacities of the economy.
To do this, it is imperative that employers' and workers' organizations are fully involved in influencing national dialogues and have the capacity to take bipartite action on issues of common interest in support of national plans that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's). As primary job providers, business has a key role to play in reaching the SDG's however policies and regulations are not always conducive to promote the 2030 agenda as they can create new, extensive bureaucratic burdens for the private sector. Companies can be faced with a myriad of legislation, standards and frameworks which are not always complementary or helpful.
Government needs to create the enabling environments both for business to create jobs, drive economic growth and development, and also the right collaborative frameworks for business, government, trade unions and others to work productively together. It is also important to showcase what business is doing to implement the SDGs, as well as to highlight the challenges that companies are facing. At the same time employers' and workers' organizations need the capacity to mobilize and support their members in understanding the likely impacts of policy measure on jobs and competitiveness and in assessing the necessary action required at multiple levels, including sector and enterprise levels. Employers can raise awareness and deploy services and support to ensure their members fully understand and engage more effectively in contributing to the achievement of these ambitious goals.
The ProjectThis project 'Increased capacities of employers' and workers' organizations to participate effectively in the development of social and labour policy' aims to support the ILO's employers' and workers' organizations, to participate in and/or contribute to national SDG processes, implementation and monitoring, and to promote and advocate for their "developmental" value. While particular attention will directed to SDG 13: Climate Action, the project focus includes SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and SDG 8: Decent work and Economic Growth. Project results will be shared with other Pacific SIDS to enhance the longer term sustainability of SDG achievements. Work in four of the eleven ILO Pacific Island member States (Vanuatu, Kiribati, Fiji and Samoa) will be pursued under the project through activities to build/enhance the core capacities and systems of employers' and workers' organizations to, individually and jointly, engage in effective dialogue and take action on issues of common interest to support the achievement of the SDGs. Gender will be mainstreamed throughout the project as per ILO policy and dedicated actions taken towards addressing any identified gender gaps and to include the participation, voice and representation of women, youth including young entrepreneurs and young trade union leaders and people with disabilities.
In short the project will:
- Build core capacities for effective bi-partite and tripartite dialogue;
- Enhance information and knowledge bases and platforms;
- Facilitate MSMEs, particularly young entrepreneurs to prepare for and respond to climate events;
- Share information and knowledge across the Pacific region.
Workshop ObjectivesThe workshop aims to provide Employers with a better understanding the project objectives and clarification of the design, outputs and outcome.
- Specific objectives include:
- Consult representatives of Employer Organisations on the design, strategy and implementation of the project (Inception Phase);
- Highlight models for collaboration/social dialogue, services, SDG implementation and reporting and support with consideration to project integration;
- Prepare Employers Reps to effectively engage at the upcoming Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAAP) and Forum Economic Ministers (FEMM) meeting;
- The main outcomes of the workshop are expected to have a clear project road map aligned to the project objectives and needs of Employer Organisations