Global pact on post COVID labour recovery, ILO meets in Geneva

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Geneva: Delegates from 181 countries representing the governments, workers and employers at the International Labor Conference (ILC) unanimously accepted a global call to action for a people-oriented COVID-19 recovery that prioritises the creation of decent jobs for all and the inequalities caused by the crisis.

The summit also heard video communications from key world leaders, including Pope Francis; Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa; South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Joe Biden.

The Global Call to Action for a Human-Centered Recovery provides a broad agenda. It perpetrates countries to ensure that their economic and social recovery from the trauma is ‘fully inclusive, sustainable and resilient’.

The agreement includes two sets of recognised actions. The first shelters measures to be taken by national governments and their company and trade union ‘social partners’, to bring about a labour-rich recovery that significantly strengthens workers’ and social protection and supports sustainable enterprises.

A second series of activities covers global cooperation and the role of multilateral organisations, including the ILO, with the aim of increasing the level and consistency of their support for national “people-centered” pandemic recovery strategies.

“Unless we pay specific attention to the inequalities that have deepened during this crisis, there is a very high risk that the economic and social consequences will cause lasting damage.”

Guy Ryder, Director General of the ILO

It calls on the ILO, with its mandate for social justice and decent work, to play a leading role and use all means of action to support the design and implementation of recovery strategies that no one leaves behind, including through cooperation with other institutions of the multilateral system.

The call to action is based on the ILO’s Centenary Declaration on the Future of Employment, adopted at the 2019 ILC. The call provides a way to accelerate the practical implementation of the statement through improved policies and investments that support a broad, entirely inclusive recovery. It also calls for vigorous, coordinated action in concerned areas, such as international cooperation and solidarity to assure global and equal admittance to vaccines, treatments and preventive measures.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder greeted the agreement: “Restoring an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery must mature a top preference for public policy. This resolution presents a clear and complete way forward that will allow countries to transform the moral and political pursuit of leaving no one behind in concrete action. ”

He added: ‘The effectiveness and resilience of COVID-19 recovery will strongly depend on how broad and socially inclusive it is. Unless we pay specific attention to the inequalities that have deepened during this crisis, there is a very high risk that the economic and social consequences will cause long-term scars, especially for accumulations such as young bodies and women who are affected out of proportion, and the small and micro-enterprises that provide the bulk of the world’s work.”

In a special meeting of the ILC, before accepting the call to action, delegates participated in the first day of the two-day World of Work Summit: Global action for a people-centered COVID-19 response. The summit discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on labor markets and recovery strategies that promote social justice and decent work.