SUVA, Fiji (ILO News) – The ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries in collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator Multi Country Offices based in Fiji, Samoa and Micronesia have held consultations with Employers and Workers’ organizations on the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for 2023-2027. The objective of the event was to consult with ILO social partners on the draft of the UNSDCF and to identify how the UN can contribute to the decent work agenda in respective countries.
At the opening of the event, held in person and virtually on the 16th June 2022, Matin Karimli Director of ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries thanked the UN Resident Coordinators for their consistent support to social dialogue, and the engagement of social partners in UN processes, emphasizing their keen interest in contributing to joint UN actions in the Pacific.
Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator to Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu said “In the future we look forward to the UN system, as ONE UN, continuing to engage with employers and workers organizations in the Countries we work in.”
Simona Marinescu, UN Resident Coordinator for Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau said “In the next 5 years we aim to offer more entry points for employer’s and worker’s organizations to work with the UN, and to revitalize labour unions as key players in development of every country.”
Jaap Van Hierden, UN Micronesia Resident Coordinator said “A very healthy private sector that is socially and environmentally responsible is key towards realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States”.
During the discussions more than 50 representatives from employers’ and workers’ organizations from 10 Pacific SIDS shared their views on the key policy priorities for the coming years.
Moreover, they reflected on how they can support the joint UN efforts to implement Agenda 2030 in the region, including the role of social partners in reaching Leaving no one behind (LNOB) groups and advancing gender equality and human rights.
Some of the key issues raised at the consultation were the importance of strengthening social dialogue, engagement of social partners in all UN process and interventions, including programmes and projects. Other issues raised included human-centred recovery in line with ILO’s Global Call to Action, social protection, just transition, a holistic approach to labour mobility programmes, the informal economy and capacity building.
Kameli Batiweti, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, CEO, who participated in the consultations said “We are grateful for being included in the discussions today, ILO has also been a great help to us in the private sector, we will continue to advocate for stronger tripartism and social dialogue for a better future of work.”
Gatoloai Tili Afamasaga, President of Samoa Workers Congress said “We are grateful that the workers have been able to join the discussions on the UN’s Cooperation framework and how workers organizations can support national development priorities that will be included in Samoa’ s next Decent Work Country Programme.”
The UNSDCF will be tailored to each country’s national priorities, responding to the Pacific Leaders’ call to the UN system to “align its work programmes and operations to support internationally agreed outcomes, including the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in the Pacific region”.